A safety management plan is a detailed approach to safety designed for a particular workplace comprised of four key components: Safety Policy; Safety Assurance; Safety Risk Management; and Safety Promotion. It is important for every workplace to have
a safety management plan in place to prepare for incidents and handle any workplace safety-related concerns. These can include everything from regularly maintaining first aid kits on site to employing government-mandated safety personnel to designing emergency evacuation procedures.
According to WorkSafe BC, an effective safety management system requires management commitment; safe work procedures; health and safety training and other OHS programs; hazard identification, workplace inspections, and incident investigations; and internal evaluations and audits; and more.
But while every employer should have a safety management system in place, not every organization has the resources to develop a safety management system on their own. There may be knowledge gaps, a lack of time, or simply a shortage of necessary resources to build your safety management plan. Or perhaps management pays lip service to health and safety, filling out forms without reading them and leaving processes and health and safety equipment in place for years without maintenance. (This can be particularly common in workplaces that go long stretches without major health and safety incidents.)
It might seem easier to just ignore health and safety until a major incident occurs, but in the long run it can be extremely costly. When incidents do occur, the associated costs of fines, bills, and compensation can be a major financial burden on a company. Many employers also run up costs simply by ignoring health and safety innovations and not adapting to the changing landscape of health and safety in Canada. That’s why it’s often best to bring in a contractor who knows health and safety to help you build an effective safety management system.
Here are 10 ways that bringing in a contractor to manage your safety management system can help save you money:
1. Save money on training
Employers that perform health and safety training internally take on the financial burden of training. And almost by definition, hours spent in training are not hours spent on productivity.
A contractor who comes with fully-trained safety personnel absorbs the cost of training and allows you to focus your resources elsewhere.
2. Avoid overstaffing
Often on worksites where health and safety are managed internally, there can be a tendency to overcompensate for a lack of health and safety background through over staffing. Throwing more people at the problem might improve safety or it might just cause confusion and overlapping roles, but either way every person on-site who doesn’t need to be there is eating up valuable payroll dollars.
A health and safety contractor can design a plan that allocates resources correctly and eliminates excess staff.
3. Reduce bureaucratic mix-ups
Sometimes a management team can design a health and safety management system that works in theory but is either not executed or not properly understood by the personnel who are actually working on-site.
A health and safety contractor can help work with you to design a safety management plan that is clear and concise to employees at every level of an organization.
(Bringing in a third party can also make it clear where to turn to in the case of safety concerns – workers understand that the safety contractor is there specifically to develop a health and safety management system and know exactly who they can approach about safety.)
4. Avoid fines
If your health and safety management system is not up to regulations, then your company could be subject to significant fines from the government. This is particularly true if these failings lead to serious injury or death and a subsequent government investigation – but even minor infractions can lead to financial penalties.
A health and safety contractor familiar with legislation can ensure that your health and safety management system is in compliance with all regulations and not subject to fines.
5. Avoid costly work stoppages
In addition to fines, the government can shut down work sites that violate safety regulations. Depending on the severity of the infraction and how easy it is to fix, these work stoppages can last anywhere from a few hours to a permanent shutdown of a facility. No matter how long your facility is down, every hour without work being completed means an hour of lost productivity.
A health and safety contractor familiar with legislation can ensure that your health and safety management system is in compliance with all regulations and not subject to work stoppages.
6. Avoid legal and medical fees
In the event of a workplace incident that leads to a serious injury or even death, an employer can be held legally responsible. This could lead to any number of potential unforeseen expenses ranging from legal bills to worker’s compensation payouts to medical bills.
A health and safety contractor can help design a health and safety management system that is in compliance with regulations and not only helps avoid serious incidents in the first place, but also lowers the likelihood of being held responsible in the unlikely event of one.
7. Reduce insurance costs
In addition to legal and medical bills, government fines, and work lost to work stoppages, another financial implication of serious workplace incidents is a rise in insurance premiums. The reason for this is simple: if an employer has demonstrated that they operate an unsafe worksite, insurance companies will make it costlier to insure that site.
A health and safety contractor can help create a safety management plan that avoids workplace incidents altogether and keeps insurance premiums manageable.
8. Improve productivity
Engaged workplace environment, improving employee loyalty and ultimately allowing an employer to spend less money on hiring and training. A healthy worker is a happy worker. If employees feel that you are taking their health and safety seriously, they will likely to care more about your company and put their best effort forward. In general, a positive health and safety culture can help stimulate a positive and A health and safety contractor can help stimulate a a positive attitude towards health and safety and happier, more productive employees.
9. Improve processes
If a health and safety management plan is designed before a facility opens and not updated for several years, there’s no way to know if there are any expenses built into the plan that could be eliminated. A health and safety management system should continuously be reviewed and updated in an effort to improve processes. Sometimes improved processes may required cost overheads, but often they will also result in cost savings.
A health and safety contractor can work with you to continuously update your safety management plan and look for ways to improve processes.
10. Bring in experts
Bringing in a health and safety contractor means bringing in experts in the field of health and safety. These experts have years of training under their belt, understand every aspect of health and safety, and are familiar with any legislative changes in field of health and safety.
A safety expert can help you design the very best safety management system that tackles hidden safety concerns as well as obvious ones, stays in line with updated government regulations, and suits the specific needs of your company.
To learn more about whether Irwin’s is the the health and safety contractor you need for your safety management system, CLICK HERE