Health and Safety has been at the top of the construction industry agenda for a number of years now and rightly so. Although there has been a significant reduction in the number of injuries sustained, the levels are still too high. These account for 10% of all major workplace accidents reported and 22% of employee fatalities whilst employing only 5% of the population. It encompasses not only accidents on site, but ill health from other related illnesses such as more than 5,000 cases of occupational cancer reported annually.
Whilst the United Kingdom does have a lower than average accident rate and one of the best records in the European Union, compared to other areas of the United Kingdom economy, its rates are still far too high. Not only does implementing a sound contractors health and safety policy make sense for you and your employees, but it also makes good business sense.
Filling out the paperwork
So, the reasons to pursue Health and Safety are clear, but how do you go about it? As with tendering for work, Health and Safety compliance can bring with it a mountain of paperwork, all of which is pretty similar for each and every project. In order to cut down on your administration time and costs, seek out an organisation that offers you accreditation so that you only need to fill out those forms once.
With one set of forms made out once a year, less duplication of work means your organisation’s Health and Safety is clear and transparent. With organisations offering tiered applications so that your fee is linked to the size and nature of your company, it is also a cost effective option. Most of the companies that perform accreditation require you to fill out one set of forms online and attach copies of documentation or policies. Professional assessors will then go through your application and may either come back to you for further information or grant you accreditation. The ability to save financially, as your administration costs diminish, is clear.
The benefits of gaining accreditation
There are a wide range of reasons for gaining accreditation and maintaining good Health and Safety compliance in the workplace. You will find that you retain more employees by ensuring they are protected from the effects of ill health or accidents. Profit and productivity can be improved alongside your company’s reputation, which will be maintained and developed from a strong record. Good practice could even save money for your organisation as legal costs and insurance premiums could be reduced.
Find the right organisation for you
Find an organisation that is aligned with the mutual recognition principles of SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement) that will enable a wide range of potential new clients to reach you. By showing that you and your organisation are competent in all areas of Health and Safety, you are increasing your ability to reach out to new clients and businesses.
Bill Grace has been writing for websites and blogs for the past 10 years. He specialises in the construction industry with a particular interest in contractors health and safety.