In every manufacturing and service industry, organisations exist to successfully deliver goods which must return a profit to the business. The primary objective of management, particularly in the modern competitive and cost-conscious environment, is to achieve these goals.
Any activity which conflicts with an organisation’s key objective of making profit – and thereby not directly contributing to the efficient provision of running a business – can sometimes be viewed by management as non-productive, only adding cost. It is all too often the case that health and safety is viewed in this regard, which is where the misunderstanding lies.
- The primary purpose of implementing robust health and safety policies, procedures and processes is to ensure that all employees and everyone affected by a company’s operations does so free from harm. Ultimately health and safety’s aim is to ensure everyone goes home safely at the end of each day.
The health and safety policy is the driving document upon which firm foundations of good safety management are built. The policy provides a structure in which control can be effectively managed, whilst giving comfort to employees that their work practices are properly planned and managed.
There is also a hidden benefit of health and safety which when realised, is just as valuable. For example, one contractor embraced lifting technology together with health and safety requirements to move 1400 plasterboards over 2 upper floors, and reduced labour costs, manual handling risks and time on their programme. This contractor saved €9000 on just one contract.
There are many ways to make health and safety work in your favour, whether by proactively promoting your business or protecting its very existence in times of adversity. Best practice tells us that the first step to a successful business operation is implementing a carefully considered, fit for purpose health and safety policy.