Health & Safety Consultants

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Health & Safety Consultants

The Cost of an Incident

The Cost of an Incident

“Health and Safety is expensive which I cannot afford?” Really?

Some businesses believe H&S is an expensive cost which they will deal with later (but rarely do until something happens).

Apart from H&S being a legal and moral requirement it can also be highly profitable to your organisation. All businesses have a legal “Duty of care” not only to their employees but also to anyone that may be affected by their undertakings. An example could be a member of the public walking past your factory and is injured by one of your pallets falling on them. The member of public is in no way connected with your business, but your work process has injured them. In this example there is likely to be a civil claim for compensation and a criminal prosecution if you have breached H&S law.

If I said I could increase your profit by 20, 50 or 80% you would probably be interested, but a lot of businesses only see H&S as a cost, they do not see the true picture, let me explain:
Good H&S keeps your staff and members of the public safe and reduces the risk of accidents which in turn reduces the risk of you being prosecuted. The company builds up a good reputation, no delays caused by accidents, and your deadlines are met.
There is a saying “If you think H&S is expensive try an accident,” and for good reason.

If a company has bad or no H&S in place (perceived cheaper option) there is a very real cost, let’s take a look:
To start with, your staff are at greater risk of having an accident and you of being prosecuted. Have you considered what would happen if you had a serious accident at your company? The casualty has been dealt with, the site made safe and secure. This accident may result in production being stopped until the investigation has concluded, and the site deemed safe to reopen.

Consider the cost if this was your business to the following points:

·       Depending on the seriousness, the accident may be investigated by the police, HSE, Fire Service. This alone could keep your business closed for a substantial period.

·       If the HSE believe there is a material breach of H&S law they will start charging you at £160 per hour under Fees For Intervention (April 2021) while working on your case, not just while at your site.

·       If it is found to be a failing on your part, there could also be a fine and/or custodial sentence.

·       If prosecuted your details would be on public record for five years.

·       Depending on the type and severity of the incident other enforcing agencies may be involved e.g., Environment Agency, Fire and Rescue, Police.

·       The incident may have caused environmental damage.

·       Insurance premiums are likely to be increased (some insurers may refuse to provide cover).

·       Extra hours added to your wage bill for your managers and other staff having to work to make up for dealing with the incident.

·       You may need to hire temporary staff to replace the injured person.

·       Temporary staff will require training, more supervision and will probably be slower because they are not familiar with your process so production will be down.

·       Loss through damaged parts, products and equipment following the incident.

·       Bad publicity could result in cancelled orders.

·       The delay in the delivery dates may result in customers going to your competitors and not coming back to you.

The general rule of thumb is like comparing an accident to an iceberg. The visible part can be covered by insurance, the bulk of the iceberg underwater is not covered and is paid for by the business.

“Prevention is better than prosecution”

Don’t leave it to chance.

Contact Steve for a Free no-obligation discussion to see how we can help your business.