FRIDAY HR FAQS – What are the implications of not having a Health & Safety policy in place?

Date: Friday, 21st December, 2018

Whatever working environment your business is in, we understand that Health and Safety is not necessarily your top priority or first thought, after all what is the worst that could happen if you don’t have a policy in place?

Aside from the legal requirement an organisation has to have this in place, the Health and Safety Act 1974, there are other important implications to consider:

Impact Upon Employee Wellbeing

Failure to have proper health and safety procedures in place could affect the wellbeing of your employees, physically and mentally. This could, in turn, impact the productivity levels of your team and increase levels of absence within the business and with 30.7 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury (HSE, 2018), levels of absence are not something to be ignored!

Not having the appropriate policy and procedures in place, can also erode the trust and confidence between the employer and employee, which is an implied term of their contract. This could increase the likelihood of voluntary exits from your business and reduce employee retention, after all who wants to work for an organisation that doesn’t care about their health and safety?

With 30.7 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury (HSE, 2018), levels of absence are not something to be ignored!

Reputation

Just as having a good reputation can bring you more business, make you an attractive employer and create a positive workplace. A bad reputation as a result of accidents, incidents or lack of policies and procedures can severely affect how investors, clients, and employees view you. Having a poor or non-existent health and safety culture can be detrimental to your reputation as a company. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly common for potential clients to request to see evidence of a businesses Health and Safety policies as a condition of the contract, therefore costing you business if you are non-compliant.

Legal Implications

There are also significant legal implications of not a having a health and safety policy in place. One of these is the very real risk of receiving a personal injury claim from an employee. An employee injured at work could sue you as an employer if you were negligent in any way, by not providing safe and healthy working conditions.

Most serious of all, breaching health and safety regulations is a criminal offence, with fines for breaching these laws reaching up to £20,000. In addition, if  a business is seriously negligent in carrying out their legal duties it can lead to unlimited fines and/or imprisonment.

Under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 companies can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of duty of care.

The type of environment that your business operates in will dictate and level of health and safety policy that you require. However, one thing that is clear is that regardless of the type of company you have, it is essential to implement a health and safety policy as ignoring this topic can have serious ramifications!

If you need any guidance or would like a full Health & Safety review of your current policies and procedures, get in touch with HR Revolution today.

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