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Health & Safety

Consequences Of Poor Health & Safety Procedures in a Workplace

Tuba Tasneem

March 07, 2023

Read time : 06 mins

Table of contents

Increased Risk Of ill Loss Of Reputation Legal Repercussions Effects Productivity & Cost

There can seem to be too many health and safety standards at times. It may not seem critical at the time, but delaying a legally necessary cleaning programme or skipping a periodic equipment maintenance check might have major repercussions.

This essay will show the consequences of dispensing with your health and safety obligations, which should inspire you to prioritise health and safety in your company.

Spending the time and money necessary to correct your health and safety culture is crucial because it can devastate your company, customers, and employees.

health and safety procedures

Poor health and safety measures can leads to:

1. Increased Risk of Ill Health and Death

Serious injuries or fatalities may occur due to your failure to implement sufficient health and safety procedures. A work-related illness or injury can affect an employee’s quality of life and keep them out of work for a while, but it can also hurt your business’s productivity, finances, and reputation, all of which can be challenging to repair.

Four riders were seriously hurt when the Smiler roller coaster at Alton Towers crashed in the summer of 2015. An HSE investigation revealed no issues with the track, the vehicles, or the system intended to keep them apart while the ride was in operation. Nevertheless, HSE investigators “found the main reason to be a lack of comprehensive, reliable systems for taking safety-critical judgments. When working with passengers on the ride, personnel made several mistakes that the entire system […] was unable to prevent.

Following a guilty plea to violating section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974, Merlin Attractions was given a $5 million fine. Many people were hurt in the collision, and two teenagers had to have their legs amputated as a result. All of this was brought on by Merlin’s failure to give health and safety responsibilities more importance.

The Smiler incident has served as a reminder that safety is of the utmost importance to the entire industry. Since then, Alton Towers has upgraded their safety systems and made technological changes to the Smiler roller coaster. “It is something we will never forget and it is something we are utterly determined will never be repeated,” said Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments.

2. Loss of Reputation

For a company to prosper, it is essential to have a positive reputation. It may result in more customers and investors, a more positive perception of your company in the community, and more people wanting to join it. However, a weak health and safety culture will harm a company’s reputation.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing eleven people and gravely injuring many more. When it was discovered that hazily written safety regulations caused the explosion, BP came under harsh criticism for the incident. According to the U.S.A. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, “Several regulation features are inadequate or lacking.”

BP lost about $40 billion as a result of the Deepwater Horizon accident, and their stock price fell.

3. Legal Repercussions

Making a workplace a safe place for employees is the legal obligation of an employer. If the employers don’t take care of their legal obligations, they could end up paying a lot in legal fees, paying a lot in fines, and even going to jail.

A planned arson attack culminated in a fire and explosion at Crofty Point Metals Ltd in Swansea in July 2013. Even though the owner was fully aware that the security and safety procedures needed to be improved, he was nonetheless held accountable. He repeatedly disregarded enforcement notices that advised him to tighten security to stop unauthorised people from entering the site, both to the company and himself. After receiving their notifications, HSE inspectors returned to the facility in December 2016 and discovered open, unattended gates, loose gas cylinders dispersed throughout, and insufficient safety requirements.

Consequences Of Poor Health & Safety Procedures in a Workplace

The business admitted guilt and paid heavy fines for breaking Sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act, 1974. After entering a plea of guilty to violating Sections 2 (1), 3 (1), and 37 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act, 1974, the site owner received a year in prison and a 7-year ban from serving as a director or manager of any company.

4. Decrease in Productivity, Increase in Turnover

If you don’t value health and safety, your company may experience a decline in productivity and a rise in staff turnover as morale drops. Why should employees be encouraged to put in extra effort if you don’t demonstrate appreciation for them by meeting even the most basic needs? When going to work, everyone should feel secure. If not, they probably will search elsewhere.

You should keep your team motivated and keep responsible staff who can work safely and productively by upholding your health and safety obligations.