The Problems of Overlooking Health and Safety

Health and Safety is a crucial part of any business. Creating a safe working environment is an essential part of a company’s structure, not only for employee’s but also visitors and members of the public.

For most businesses, it is easy to stick to procedure as well as following health and safety guidelines to the letter, allowing no room for mistakes. Unfortunately, however, some organisations will look to cut corners and overlook the necessary safety requirements. This can have massive repercussions.

We have seen some tragic events in recent years due to bad safety application and dreadful working conditions. Workers have died during the preparations of both the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the 2020 World Cup in Qatar. A similar lack of suitable working conditions and failure to stick to regulation saw a zoo worker suffer fatal injuries during an attack by a tiger in South Africa.

Although these examples are extreme, the principles behind them remain very much the same.

The real costs of having poor Health and Safety

The loss of life and injury will obviously have an incredibly adverse effect on a worker’s personal life. But if the basics of health and safety aren’t taken seriously then a company can see a drop off in, profit and worker productivity.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 puts full responsibility for the health and safety of employees and visitors on the business. Maintaining a healthy working environment and keeping up to date with regulations is essential

Every year there are thousands of work related injuries due to failings in safety: Over a million workers self-report suffering from work-related illnesses a year.

  • A million workers self-report suffering from a work-related illness
  • Thousands of people die from occupational diseases
  • Hundreds of thousand workers are injured at work
  • A worker is fatally injured almost every day

These statistics will obviously be varying depending on your workplace. Some work environments are naturally much more dangerous than others. Construction sites, factories, oil rigs and fishing boats will have a much higher risk attached to them.

Safety and working conditions must be taken seriously for your everyday office workplace to ensure you get maximum productivity from staff and prevent injury. Keeping up to date and maintaining these regulations is of paramount importance. If things aren’t kept to standard then there will be repeat injury and illness.

Monetary implications of failing Health and Safety

Organisations can face huge prosecutions by enforcing authorities to hold those accountable for serious breaches of health and safety law. The law doesn’t actually offer many sentencing options with convictions usually resulting in a fine. In 2013/2014 a total of £14.2 billion was spent on health and safety failure, just highlighting the cost of not taking things seriously.

This figure is made up of all costs associated with any injury or ill health. Companies will have to pay out on compensation, lost earnings, insurance, social security payments and healthcare.

Richard Murray from Arinite Health and Safety Consultants said. ‘’So many young business over-look, or forget just the simple health and safety aspects. These things are small but can come back to haunt you.’’

There are alternative methods to hold offenders accountable for lacking in Health and Safety. Most commonly it will resolve in compensation for the victim or the victim’s family. This will normally be a cash settlement or an enhanced role within the company.

It doesn’t matter how big or small an organisation is, making sure the working environment is safe and suitable is a basic principle which has to be followed.

Marco SaccaAuthor: Marco Saccà is an Italian journalist based in London, where he works as a digital marketing executive and freelance writer. He loves writing about business, entrepreneurship and startups.

For further information, please contact Marco Saccà at or 020 8344 2057.