Health and safety may sometimes seem like one of those things that only affect certain Industries, but whatever field you work in as an entrepreneur, you have a serious responsibility to make sure your staff are not at risk of Injuries or health problems as a result of the environment they work in or the duties they are expected to perform.
Here are three of the reasons why you as a business owner need to pay serious attention to your responsibilities when it comes to workplace health and safety – aside from, of course, the mandatory requirements for being in business at all in your state.
Avoid Expensive Lawsuits
Almost every day, there are stories in the news about companies who have been sued over workplace injuries or other health and safety cases. As an example, there were some high-profile McDonalds employee complaints where people who worked with the fast food joint giant were litigating because they had been injured in grease accidents, had experienced unnecessary risk due to being expected to work too fast by the computer systems monitoring them, and because they felt they had not been given the proper training to operate some of the equipment in the McDonald’s kitchens. These cases became complex because McDonald’s restaurants are, in most cases, operated by franchisees rather than the overarching corporation. Both McDonald’s and franchise owners had cases brought against them.
While businesses do have insurance against this kind of thing avoiding, lawsuits are obviously something entrepreneurs need to take seriously to protect both their finances and the reputation of their brands.
Even businesses that don’t have things like kitchen equipment or machinery on site need to consider things pertinent to health and safety when it comes to using computers and other hazards that can exist, even in offices.
Better Staff Retention
Another concern for entrepreneurs, especially when the business is a startup, is being able to keep the staff that you managed to attract. Businesses that are able to keep the talent that they recruit and train tend to be more cost-effective and can gain an edge over their rivals. When staff feel that their well-being is being regarded as a priority by the business that they work for, they are far less likely to consider moving to another company.
If a company does more than the bare minimum when it comes to health and safety and actually goes out of their way to follow best practices, this can make the business compliant at a higher level. This can be important later on if you want to make a public offering or sell the business.
As you can see, there are lots of benefits to taking health and safety seriously and to looking at ways that your business can go beyond what is required by law and become a company that is seen as a center of excellence in this respect. A regular audit of your current processes can be a good place to start.