For most businesses it takes a long time to develop a good reputation and so it’s important to maintain that reputation. However, it still seems that too many businesses overlook the impact that negative health & safety stories can have on the way both clients and prospective employees will view a business, once the HSE has had to intervene.
If, as can often happen, the HSE decide there is a case to hear in court; then upon successful prosecution the HSE have to post the details on their name and shame database. The importance here is that this is normally quickly picked up by search engines and then the bad press hit the top of search rankings. Firstly it’s not possible for the HSE to remove from their database and why should they? And secondly it’s impossible to control what Google sees as the most important information on a business.
We remember a recent case where a business was successfully prosecuted and fined £25,000. For the business the impact did not stop there. Within 6 months the MD had identified that they had lost 25% of their orders and had to lay off 25% (50) employees. As the HSE inspector identified if they had made a better job of managing their employee’s safety in the first place then this would probably not have happened.
Clearly getting it wrong for this business had a serious impact and if they could have turned back the clock, they would have paid more attention to getting it right first time.