Health and safety lessons from COVID-19
It is certainly the case that 2020 has been a difficult year for businesses – and much of this has been down to the COVID-19 pandemic. This unprecedented scenario has made it ether challenging or in some cases impossibles for organisations to work normally. But it is important to also look at COVID-19 as a potential learning experience.
Crucially, COVID-19 has shown companies just how important health and safety measures are. Some businesses view health and safety as an unnecessary waste of time – but in these times were vigilance of good health and safety practice is the difference between the business surviving or failing, there is much that companies must take forward.
Here we take a look at some of the key health and safety lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic that it is vital for businesses to learn.
The importance of workplace safety assessments
It is certainly the case that the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded businesses of the importance of carrying out thorough workplace safety assessments. As the virus has changed the way that virtually every company has to operate, it has forced everyone to re-evaluate their working practice to understand what is appropriate in the new environment.
It has really helped make clear that workplace safety assessments are actually vitally important – and getting them wrong can have dangerous consequences. Whereas in the past a safety assessment may have been considered an unimportant inconvenience, the pandemic has shown the essential need for them in a business setting.
The small things make a big difference
There is an irony in dealing with the coronavirus in that it has caused such a big change in a short amount of time. And yet, the most important ways to deal with the virus and ensure that it cannot spread are actually the small and simple things that perhaps many of us were guilty of taking from granted.
The regular washing of hands, keeping a safe distance, and practising good hygiene are the only things that can minimise risk. Once again, this is a reminder that the biggest problems can have the simplest solutions – just do the small things right.
Heath issues can cost you a lot of money
Businesses that aren’t paying attention to health and safety can lose an awful lot of money because of it. Remember that companies are bound by strict health and safety laws, and failing to take these seriously and stay within their requirements can be extremely costly no matter what industry you are in.
According to personal injury law specialists George Ide LLP Solicitors “an employer is obliged to protect the health and safety of everyone who comes onto his premises in any capacity – as an employee, a supplier, a customer or as a member of the public. Employers who fail in this duty can be liable for prosecution”.
Things can change very quickly
There is no doubt something virtually everyone experienced as a result of COVID-19 was change at an extremely fast pace. And this is definitely important when we relate it to health and safety; if things can alter so rapidly in terms of your industry and business as a whole, it can have huge repercussions.
It is important, then, to be aware that health and safety issues and the best practice to deal with them, can change at a very fast rate. Being aware of this can help companies to react quickly when new issues occur.
Training is vital
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of good training when it comes to health and safety matters. In order to combat the virus, strict precautions and measures have to be taken, and it is completely essential that members of staff not only understand what they need to do but why they need to do it.
It is important to organise training sessions to keep staff up to date on the latest procedures and how they have changed. COVID-19 has served as a reminder that without good training in place, staff won’t know what to do and this can have dire consequences for the company as a whole.
Of course, it must be said that health and safety is a vital aspect of what all modern businesses need to do in order to operate safely and successfully. If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed just how important these issues are – without good health and safety measures in place, it is impossible for the company to thrive.
Advance your career in health and safety
Browse hundreds of jobs in health and safety, brought to you by SHP4Jobs, and take your next steps as a consultant, health and safety officer, environmental advisor, health and wellbeing manager and more.
Or, if you’re a recruiter, post jobs and use our database to discover the most qualified candidates.