A key to good health and safety practice is a management system, one that can help you take control of any incident that may occur at your outlet — such a having a First Aid Kit visible and accessible for emergency and medical assistance.
The system will assist management to inform staff of the right way of doing things, such as how to evacuate the building in an event of a fire. It also lets you apply a consistent, structured approach to tasks and will help you determine what's working well, and where improvements need to be made.
Tinus Boshoff, Director at Labour Guide, says implementing such measures will save you money, improve productivity and increase employee morale in your business.
When at a restaurant it’s unlikely that you are taking your life into your own hands if you eat the fruit, vegetables and salads, or if you chose to add ice to your drink.
He says organisations often incur financial losses associated with occupational injuries or illness such as contracting Tuberculosis and Pneumonia for employees working in a cold environment for instance.
These are expenditures that come straight out of company profits. “These losses include costs such as legal fees, fines, compensatory damages, investigation time, lost production, lost goodwill from the workforce, from customers and from the wider community.”
Boshoff also warned that poor occupational safety and health performance results also cost the government through social security payments to the incapacitated, costs for medical treatment and the loss of employment.
“If potential hazards or risks are not properly managed, it will result in loss to organisational resources. In some cases the consequence could be detrimental to man as well as the environment. Injuries and illnesses also decrease productivity, morale, and profits.”
According to Boshoff, if risks are pro-actively and properly managed, incidents will be reduced, production will rise and insurance premiums can be limited to the minimum. A safe workplace provides the consistency and reliability needed to build and grow a business.
“A health and safety system also helps to effectively manage workplace hazards, risks and dangers within the organisation such as avoiding unwanted and unnecessary loss. In short, investing in health and safety should be seen as a great investment for the organisation in the long run”, Boshoff advised.
Ignoring the risks involved in the daily running of your business also impacts on the following:
- The health and safety of employees and others (Contractors, customers, visitors and the community)
- Your reputation, credibility and status
- Public and customer confidence in your organisation
- Your financial position
- Damage to plant, equipment and the environment
Employers or business owners will be penalised for not complying with Health and Safety Standards, for instance every business premises is required to have a fire extinguisher as a safety measure in an event of fire and fire extinguisher signs must be mounted on the wall or door frames.