The real Cost of Poor health and safety

Are you fully aware of the hidden, uninsured cost of poor health and safety on site?

HBXL Building Software specialists are here to highlight to building firms the hidden cost of poor health and safety that can worsen the impact of health and safety incidents. A lot of businesses are fully aware of the moral, ethical, financial and legal cost of poor health and safety on site. However what often goes unnoticed, are the many hidden costs of when something goes wrong. These are often uninsured and can amount to a hefty and unwanted bill. Prevent the unexpected with Health & Safety Xpert to help you produce all your necessary health and safety documentation for your sites.

Insured costs multiplied

Data from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) shows that for every £1 insured cost, uninsured costs will be anywhere between £8 to £36*. Add the Fee For Intervention (FFI) on top of this and you’re starting to see why we’re advising those embarking on build projects to be extra stringent with their site health and safety or face the consequences.

Expert view

Speaking with our resident health and safety guru Jo Mulgrew he said; “If something did go wrong, then there are a myriad of things that will need paying for. We like to think of it as a bit of a health and safety iceberg, where the majority of costs are hidden!”

Included on our list of hidden costs are product and material damage, plant and building damage, tool and equipment damage, production delays, overtime and temporary labour, investigation time, the fact that manager’s time will be diverted, potential loss of expertise and experience, damaged reputations and a rise in insurance premiums.

She added: “The list goes on and that’s not even taken into account potential fines, imprisonment and the emotional implications of injury to someone you know.”

Scary Stats

Further reason to make sure you have all the right health and safety paperwork in place is the number of fees and notices the HSE has handed out. In the last 12,430 notices were is issued by the HSE and local authorities*.

The need to comply couldn’t be more stark with 50% of basement sites failing inspection and 2 in 5 refurb sites failing in the recent statistics published by the HSE*.

She commented that: “the HSE are focusing visits on smaller sites. It’s also worth noting that in October 2015 alone the Fees For Intervention invoices in construction totalled £609,312 worth of fines from 981 issued invoices*.

“More serious breaches could result in a trip to the Magistrates court, a £20,000 fine and 12 months imprisonment. A case that gets taken to the crown court could result in an unlimited fine and two year’s imprisonment”.

Sentencing guidelines

The potential fallout of not following H&S law within the workplace (not just that of a construction firm, but any firm) by not following the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 can result in unlimited fines which could cripple many businesses if the case goes to court.

This could be on the basis of:

  • Breach of duty of employer towards employees and non-employees
  • Breach of duty of self-employed to others
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (section 33(1)(a) for breaches of sections 2 and 3)
  • Breach of Health and Safety regulations Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (section 33(1)(c))

Lasting effects of intervention

On top of the previously mentioned implications are the ongoing drawbacks of being publically declared to have not been up to standard. The HSE public database of notices and enforcement displays each intervention for a minimum of five years where it is accessible to anyone who cares to Google your firm. Additionally as a result of the HSE’s website rankings, a company that has had a notice issued will find that any potential clients who search your company name will find the notice often before any other link to your company, scaring away potential business.

What’s the solution?

The sensible decision is to do everything in your power to prevent accidents on site and make sure you have completed all the relevant health and safety procedures. The easiest way to do that is with software solution. With Health & Safety Xpert builders know they have the very latest paperwork to hand. Packed with all the documentation you could possibly need, fully CDM 2015 compliant and with over 150 Risk Assessments and 130+ COSHH Assessments.

Designed for builders and developers

Designed to be easy to use, simply fill in the details of the project and let the software line up the appropriate paperwork. This can then be printed off and placed in a file for all members of the team to read before they start on site. Or even better, emailed straight from the software to help speed up the process and get boots on the ground, quicker.

Set yourself apart

Jo added: “Using this type of software also, in my view, differentiates the good builders from the rest and highlights the responsibilities of the client and contractor.

“For domestic clients, if the builder they employ doesn’t inform them of their responsibilities, then they clearly don’t know what they are doing and would be best to steer clear of.

“Those who operate within the law have nothing to worry about but those who think they won’t get caught could at some point be in for a nasty surprise.

“Of course the prevention of death, injury and ill health to those at work and those affected by work activities is paramount”.

The bottom line

Health and safety is not something to mess around with or that can be pushed aside. Risks to yourself, colleagues and the public is not something to be taken lightly but as an added incentive Fees For Intervention, fines, court appearances, jail time and lasting damaged reputation, especially on the internet, are all there to add reason to taking H&S seriously.

Health & Safety Xpert is still the simplest and most straightforward way for builders and developers to ensure that they have everything in place to establish a safe site and avoid the consequences of health and safety negligence.

If you already have Health & Safety Xpert and are looking to update to Health & Safety Xpert 2016 you’ll find the download at this link when it goes live (April).

If your support and updates is no longer in place for Health & Safety Xpert 2015 you can purchase that here so that you are ready for the update.

If you have an outdated version of Health & Safety Xpert (v.1-v.5) then you need to purchase an upgrade here.

If you haven’t yet purchased our health and safety software designed specifically for builders and developers…what are you waiting for!? Give us a call on 0117 9167898, drop us an email or check out our website here.

*Facts sourced from the HSE and The Guardian