May 29, 2018

The South African Labour Guide explains: How does Health and Safety Add Value to Businesses?

What is the South African Labour Guide?
The South African Labour Guide is the body here to guide you through the labour laws in South Africa. They take the guesswork out of workplace safety and health by providing information and expertise to help businesses tailor solutions to meet their needs.
What are the health and safety obligations?
Employers have a legal obligation to provide safe and healthy working conditions to all employees, and their work activities may not expose people such as customers or suppliers, or the community to hazards and risks. If an employer does not comply with the relevant legislation, a penalty, prosecution or even criminal liability will be the result.
How can you make it easier to follow such obligations?
Implementing measures (such as workshops, programs, management systems, software applications etc.) to ensure sticking to your regulations and health and safety obligations, will not only save you money, but more importantly improve your workforce productivity, and increase employee morale.
Organisations often incur financial losses associated with occupational injuries and illnesses, expenditures that come straight out of company profits. These losses include costs such as legal fees, fines, compensatory damages, investigation time, lost production, lost goodwill from the workforce, from customers and from the wider community.
What are the impacts of risking not following regulations and obligations?
Ignoring the risks involved in the daily running of your business also impacts on the following:
  • The health and safety of employees and others
  • Your reputation, credibility and status
  • Public and customer confidence in your organisation
  • Your financial position
  • Damage to plant, equipment and the environment
Poor occupational safety and health performance result in a cost to the State (e.g. through social security payments to the incapacitated, costs for medical treatment, and the loss of the “employability” of the worker).  If potential hazards or risks are not properly managed,  it will result in a loss of organisational resources. In some cases, the consequence could be detrimental to man as well as the environment.
Assessing the risks: is it worth it?
Injuries and illnesses also decrease productivity, morale, and profits. These costs can be the difference between operating in the black or ending up in the red.  Pro-actively managing, and thus preventing or at least minimising, occupational and environmental accidents and ill health before they occur makes good management sense.
When things go wrong, your hard-earned profits go out the window. If risks are pro-actively and properly managed, incidents will be reduced, production will rise and insurance premiums can be limited to the minimum.  A safe workplace provides the consistency and reliability needed to build and grow a business.
The benefits of ensuring health and safety in your workplace
Workplaces with active safety and health leadership have fewer injuries, are often considered by employees to be ‘better places to work’, and have more satisfied, more productive employees. These employees return to work more quickly after an injury or illness and produce higher-quality products and services.
Safe environments improve employee morale, which leads to increased productivity and better service. Businesses operate more efficiently when they implement effective safety and health management systems. Workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can, without doubt, reduce their injury and illness costs.
Finding a solution that works for you
A health and safety system helps to effectively manage workplace hazards, risks and dangers within the organisation, avoiding unwanted and unnecessary loss. In short, investing in health and safety should be seen as a great investment for the organisation in the long run.

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