Whether you’re an employer or staff member, your working life is going to be impacted by health and safety regulations, namely the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. These are designed to protect workers and make sure that their bosses provide the right working conditions – ones that aren’t detrimental to their health. But if you’re still wondering why health and safety is such a key issue in the workplace, here are all the reasons why it’s important.
It protects staff
Staff should be able to go to work without fear they are going to become ill or injured due to no fault of their own. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2019-2020 1.6 million people suffered from a work-related illness, with 111 workers being killed at work during that time.
Without health and safety in the workplace, these figures might be much higher, leading to a greater scale of life-changing injuries, and effects on many more families across the country.
It boosts business
HSE figures note that 38.8 million working days were lost due to illness and injury sustained in the workplace in 2019-2020, with time lost from workplace illness and injury costing £16.2 billion in 2018-2019. This is a huge drag on the UK economy.
Solving health and safety issues makes the country’s workforce and businesses more productive. Rolling back health and safety regulations will only prove counterproductive; despite the idea it will make business easier and cheaper to conduct.
It ensures injured staff are paid back
For those injured at work, health and safety legislation allows injured staff a range of options to get their lives back on track. It clearly sets out rules on how workplaces should be operated, which can help staff make professional negligence solicitor claims more easily, benefitting their mental and physical health in kind.
It also means that, when staff are hurt, there are clear rules on how employers will be made by local authorities or courts to rectify the problems that led to the injury or illness. This ensures the same will not happen again, and that employers are held to account for their corner-cutting or lack of diligence.
Laws mean reporting an accident at work is easy too – all staff need to do is visit Citizens Advice and follow the on-screen instructions. In doing so, they’ll find it easier to access benefits like Statutory Sick Pay that can help in their recovery.