HSE finds staff the main health and safety motivator for firms

The biggest motivator for employers to fulfil their health and safety obligations is the benefits to workplace morale and productivity, according to research by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The HSE has published the results of a survey of more than 1,700 employers asking what factors motivated them to comply with health and safety law.

The current strategy used by HSE and local authorities for improving health and safety relies on a mix of ‘levers’ – for example encouragement, persuasion, assistance and enforcement. The research sought to split organisations into discrete groups, and then map the degree of influence each lever might have.

The study found:

  • 90% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that good health and safety is important for staff productivity and morale
  • 86% agreed or strongly agreed that damage to their reputation could cause them to lose business
  • 82% felt that they must comply with health and safety regulations to protect their reputation
  • 80% of respondents say they check their own health and safety standards if they hear about a notice or prosecution against a similar organisation.

HSE director general, Timothy Walker, said: “This research shows that many employers understand the benefits of good standards of health and safety management and are well motivated to manage the risks they face.

“We need to understand these motivators and how they vary, for example according to industry sector, the size of an organisation and the attitudes of the current management towards health and safety.”

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