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Health and Safety at Work

Health and safety
Health and safety in the work place has more than just legal ramifications.  Having a safe place of work is of course a legal and emotional requirement, but has far greater benefits to management and employee alike.  Working within a physically safe environment is the first and most obvious benefit of following stringent health and safety practice.  Ensuring that you, your staff, customers and visitors are working and visiting a safe environment should be your number one priority when organising safety and health conscious procedures.  Putting anyone at any risk must be avoided at all costs for obvious reasons.
The Health and Safety Executive regulations cover a wide range of factors, from basic safety issues around machinery, lifting and equipment, to meeting the physical and emotional needs of employees including those with disabilities.  Check the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk) for full regulations regarding ventilation, temperature, lighting, cleanliness and work space, as well as working conditions, sanitary welfare and accident prevention.
Productivity is another factor.  Ensuring health and safety procedures are in place will minimise any possible accidents in the work place, and if properly implemented, will minimise possible outcomes, thereby reducing recovery time and increasing productivity.  Safe working practices can also help speed up procedures by creating a calm, confident environment.  This does not just apply to physical health – if emotional and mental wellbeing is safeguarded in your workplace, then any expenditure on good working practices will be recouped in terms of less sick time taken due to stress factors.
Morale is very important to any business with staff.  A good and well implemented health and safety policy will give your staff a sense of value and show that you care about their wellbeing, which in turn will create loyalty and productivity.  Having adequate sick pay, and generous procedures in place will create a feeling of mutual respect, and hopefully entice your employees into putting in that extra effort when they return to health.
Staff recruitment and retention: Many employees see a good health and safety scheme and sick policy as an integral part of their employment package, so operating conscientiously can help you to attract candidates, and be of help in ensuring your staff turnover remains low.  A major factor in losing productive staff can be work related stress, so keeping this to a minimum and facilitating a healthy, happy environment will go a long way towards avoiding losing capable staff.
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