The Grim Consequences of Poor Health and Safety Procedures
There’s no excuse for cutting corners when it comes to health and safety. And yet, without a comprehensive, cross-platform system that’s simple to use and straightforward to update, it’s all too easy for serious incidents to occur.
The consequences of non-compliance can be far-reaching indeed, and not just for the people involved in the incident itself. Workers, managers and senior directors may all be held accountable, depending on circumstances, and the future stability of your company could be seriously undermined.
Here’s the result of inadequate health and safety procedures.
Injuries, On-Going Ill Health and Fatalities
The most serious cost is injury leading to ongoing health issues or even death. Here is an example of a scaffolding collapse in the street. Thankfully, no one was injured in this incident, but clearly, the consequences could have been much worse.
The accident was due to inadequate training and lack of supervision of an inexperienced worker – a situation easily avoided if procedures regarding site safety, instruction of new recruits, and monitoring of the workforce had been understood and followed.
Crippling Financial Cost
In the previous example, the scaffolding company faced prosecution, a fine of £160,000 and legal costs of over £11,000. Not surprisingly, the situation can be far more serious.
The infamous Smiler rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers resulted in amputations for two people, serious injuries for several others and a £5 million fine for the company operating the ride – and, of course, considerable legal costs as well. The mechanical equipment wasn’t at fault, but the accident was due to human error regarding operating procedures.
Again, this wouldn’t have happened if the operators had implemented and enforced the correct training and oversight, as they were obliged to do by law.
Sadly, some incidents result in death and in these cases (or where there is a risk of serious injury) there is no legal limit to the amount of the fine. For example, a gas cylinder manufacturer was fined over £800,000 when a worker was killed by shrapnel from a cylinder explosion – largely as the result of inadequate training and supervision of the worker, and failure by the company to control dangerous substances.
Depending on the size of your company, fines and legal costs could be more than just inconvenient. They could have serious implications for the financial viability and future of your business.
The Cost to Your Reputation and Industry Disqualification
An incident doesn’t just go away once the court case is finished and the fines are paid. Dangerous health and safety incidents will gravely damage your reputation – possibly beyond repair. You’ll lose customers and potential new employees, and existing staff will hardly be motivated and productive if it’s clear they’re working in a dangerous environment.
The person or people responsible for non-compliance also risk being disqualified from working in the industry. Senior management is often held to blame, even if they aren’t directly involved, as it’s ultimately their responsibility.
Cost-Effective Safety and Compliance with the Compliance Genie™
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