EH&S is Something You Invest in, Not Budget For

November 20, 2016

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of taking part in a board-level discussion on costs and overheads, you’ll know the subject of EH&S is often placed firmly within the ‘necessary expense’ category.

This is concerning, because EH&S is something that every business should invest in, not budget for.

Budgets are incredibly important, but just as one views the cost of developing a new product as an investment in the future success of a business, spend on EH&S should be considered an investment in the safety of the workforce and the organization’s public image.

Business is all about people. Everyone contained within an organization needs to be adequately cared for and protected from harm. If you think of it as a family, instead of a workforce, then the benefits of treating EH&S as more than just an overhead become clear.

What’s more, by investing in health and safety, businesses will see a wider, positive impact on several key areas of the company. Here are five areas of business that benefit when EH&S is treated as more than just a cost:

  1. Public image

Imagine the death of an employee or a careless environmental disaster making the headlines. With your company’s name attached squarely to such news, the public image of the business will be tarnished – often resulting in a direct impact on sales.

Treating EH&S as purely a cost will have dire PR consequences when things go wrong. Investing properly in EH&S, therefore, is akin to investing in sales and marketing simultaneously.

  1. Employees

Motivation takes a serious hit when employees’ days are marred as a result of poor investment in the safety of their surroundings and the environment within which they’re expected to be productive.

Through investing in health and safety, employees can feel more at ease and happier in their environment. Businesses should always consider sound investment in EH&S as an investment in productivity as happy, motivated and safe employees are more productive – it’s that simple.

  1. Recruitment

Experts believe that top graduates increasingly consider the public image of a company and its attitude towards the environment as key deciding factors when seeking new jobs.

If your business is on a recruitment drive and is struggling to attract the best talent, an increased focus on EH&S may be required.

  1. The legal stuff

Issues relating to non-compliance and unintentional disregard for the health and safety of staff will often land top-tier management in very hot water. Courts are not afraid of handing out custodial sentences to business leaders who have neglected EH&S compliance or failed to properly address employee compensation following an accident.

By investing in rather than budgeting for EH&S, costly courtroom dramas will rarely, if ever, take place. Likewise, you’ll avoid expensive rises in insurance premiums if you’re able to demonstrate a strong grip on EH&S and a clean bill of health for the company.

  1. Innovation

At this point, you may be scratching your chin, wondering how on earth a failure to invest properly in EH&S can harm innovation, but it absolutely can.

By increasing spend on environmentally-friendly production techniques and the safety of those constructing your products and services, the output of the business will be greener and ready for a safety-conscious world. And that looks good on any product brochure.

Conclusion

A business without a proper budget is likely to fail, but hidden within the numbers on that huge spreadsheet is spend which should absolutely be considered an investment. EH&S sits among those figures and treating it seriously enables businesses to guarantee not just the health and safety of employees, but of their environment and the products shipped to customers.

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