top of page

The high cost of cutting corners: why neglecting health and safety hurts businesses in the long run

In the complex world of business, the notion that Health and Safety is merely an overhead expense persists, despite evidence that it can be a cost saving powerhouse.  Far from being a drain on resources, investing in health and safety can not only streamline processes, boost efficiency but also shields businesses from financial losses, including claims. Maintaining a commitment to health and safety is not just a legal requirement but a smart business move, especially during these challenging financial times.

Consider the age-old perspective that deems health and safety an overhead cost. Contrary to this belief, robust health and safety practices often save money by refining processes, enhancing company culture, and boosting overall efficiency. Moreover, they act as a financial shield, protecting businesses from costly claims that could cripple the bottom line.

During financial struggles, businesses may think about cutting corners, with health and safety often perceived as optional.  However, abandoning health and safety competency during these vulnerable times only adds to the feeling of insecurity and increases exposure of the company to legal and regulatory risks.

Neglecting this legal duty to have competent health and safety support for the business (whether internal or external) can create an unexpected monetary penalty that could far surpass the initial savings of cutting the safety measures.  The price of non-compliance can be steep, including fines, lawsuits and reputational damage. Medical expenses, workers’ compensation claims and increased insurance premiums are just the tip of the iceberg.  In the age of social media and heightened corporate social responsibility, word spreads quickly. 

News of unsafe working conditions can tarnish a company’s reputation, making it harder to attract both good Clients and top talent. The long-lasting effects of a damaged reputation can outlast any financial difficulties.

Beyond the internal benefits, prioritising health and safety can enhance a company's reputation. A positive public image attracts customers, investors, and top talent, opening doors to larger clients and more significant projects. In essence, a commitment to health and safety becomes a strategic advantage that propels the business forward.

All this aside, the initial concern should be employee welfare. No one wants to hurt their employees. As a company’s most valuable asset, compromising their safety can have severe repercussions.  Whilst accidents and injuries in the workplace can have a cascading impact on a company’s finances, the mental health effects of guilt, conscience and worry can far surpass any concern about a hefty financial impact.

In conclusion, the outdated view that health and safety is merely an overhead is a misconception that businesses can ill afford and we simply have no choice. The legal duty is placed upon us as business owners and ignoring this would be akin to driving a car on a public road without a valid licence, yet the culture of doing these two things is still set poles apart.

As legally responsible people, and hopefully with a moral compass intact too, all businesses should be taking seriously what they need to have in place to safeguard their employees, anyone else who may be harmed, and the business too. Being able to put your head on the pillow and get a good nights rest becomes far easier when you have confidence in these things!


It needn’t be a costly affair to have support either, many of the basic requirements can be handled in house, without the need for external expertise, and the more proactive and willing a company is to progress their own health and safety standards, the cheaper and more rewarding the whole journey can be.

Written by: Samantha White

4 views0 comments


bottom of page