Health and safety regulations can sometimes be seen as a burden for businesses. But, with careful implementation, it is a tremendous asset. When you are compliant with health and safety law, it puts you in a good position not only in terms of recruitment, but also in the smooth running of your company. In this article, we will take a look at the impact of health and safety on recruitment – and how maintaining compliance can actually put you in a position to attract the best talent.
Health and safety is constantly changing
Health and safety is a constantly evolving field. As legislation changes and new laws are brought into effect, it is vital that businesses understand that they must keep a constant eye on how compliance is shifting and what it means for prospective employees.
There are many different roles and industries that involve responsibilities that have some element of health and safety risk attached to them. It is wise to regularly re-evaluate how your business operates within health and safety parameters. You don’t want to employ someone on the basis of certain tasks being required, when in fact others are now necessary as a legal requirement.
Employees want a safe environment
Perhaps it is not surprising to learn that employees want to operate in a workplace where they can feel safe. In fact, In a recent survey, prospective employees revealed that the safety of the working environment is a key factor when they consider a potential job offer.
It is important for companies to understand that they can win favour with potential employees by committing to high health and safety standards.
The importance of a top-down approach
Health and safety is something that should be delivered from the top down. It is all well and good having HR staff or even a specific health and safety manager focused on what’s best for employees. But, if you want to sell your commitment to potential members of staff, it is important that they see that the business leadership feels the same.
Employees want employers who share their values
Recognising that prospective employees for modern businesses may not have the same priorities as those of the past, is a key element in understanding how values have changed within the workforce. You might think that attracting employees would need little more than increasing wages and adding benefits, but this isn’t actually the case.
Two-thirds of Generation Z employees want their employers to share their values. This is part of a growing trend where employees take a broader interest in the company that they work for, beyond what that company can offer them.
This shows that employees want employers who care about them and where they work. Putting a commitment around health and safety shows staff that they can feel positive about the people they work for.
Providing support for non-work relating health and safety issues
It should be pointed out that not all health and safety issues relate to what happens at work. Staff can become injured or hurt outside of work, often in circumstances that are not their fault. Take the example of an employee being hit by a car. One personal injury expert highlights the devastating injuries this can involve as ‘comparatively unprotected as they are, pedestrians caught up in road traffic accidents are often much more seriously injured than those behind the wheel of any vehicles involved’.
In this scenario, a worker could face a significant period away from work. It is important in this scenario to offer as much support to staff as possible, including everything from going beyond statutory sick pay, and providing assistance with any legal action that your employee might want to undertake.
This should be detailed in any recruitment materials, showing your commitment to the health and safety of your workers, no matter where they are.
Commitment to compliance
You need to show employees that you are not just using health and safety compliance in name. It is important to be committed to the legislation – and doing so is actually much easier than you think.
Show potential staff that health and safety is more than just a soundbite for your business and commit to specific standards, as a key part of how the business operates.
Regular training should be made available
A further key consideration is that companies don’t see their commitment to health and safety as a simple piece of initial training. As we mentioned above, health and safety legislation is constantly changing and so is the way that it affects your business specifically, as well as how you operate. As such it is important to regularly review and change up your training. Quality training needs to be relevant and timely.
Yes, it is still the case that health and safety is sometimes seen as a hoop that businesses have to jump through. But as we have seen above, getting health and safety right can have a huge impact both on your ability to recruit talent, and in the positive day-to-day running of the business.
If you have been putting off, or perhaps simply not focusing enough on health and safety legislation, now could be the perfect time to make a change. It has the potential to be extremely valuable to your business in the long-term.