The Real Cost of Safety

The Issue

It is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this.

You have probably heard it in one form or another, ’If you think safety is expensive, try an accident!’. This phrase is originally attributed to Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the ‘Easyjet’ entrepreneur. It has since been quoted numerous times in various publications espousing the virtues and risks involved in health and safety.

The HSE ‘Costs to Britain Model’ estimates that between 2015 and 2016 the cost of workplace injury and ill health totalled £14.9bn. Over 1 million workers were injured at work or suffered from ill health due to workplace health and safety issues.

Too often and particularly in this current climate, workplace safety provision is not seen as a priority, some of the common complaints about dealing with health and safety include:
“Health and Safety regulations are over the top.”
“It’s not my priority at the moment.”
“I don’t have time,” and, “it’s common sense.”
“I can’t afford it.”

A Cost Saving Solution is Possible

With the above in mind, Safety For Construction can help reduce the financial burden on competent safety, health and environmental (SHE) support.

A recent study regarding costs of employing competent SHE advisors found that companies employing 20 – 200 people retained 1 – 5 SHE professionals.

Salaries and employment costs averaged £35k per person per annum.

Safety For Construction can offer a competent support package starting at £195 per month, which would give you;

  • Telephone support to answer questions and provide guidance.
  • Bi-Monthly newsletter.
  • Certificate of appointment which you can use to demonstrate your commitment to H&S to inform your workforce and Clients of the support retained.
  • Reduced fees for ongoing support work.

Cost Example

Small businesses that employ one SHE professional – By appointing SFC , you would get our Competent Support Package, plus 43hrs of additional support per month, for the same outlay as hiring a new SHE advisor. We find that most companies of this size, once set up, require 15 – 25hrs per month so costs can be reduced significantly.

Medium to large businesses that employ a team of SHE professionals – The most common approach for companies with two or more SHE professionals, is to retain one SHE manager (or more dependent on the size and complexity of the business) and utilise our support to assist that person/s in the coordination of safety, health and environmental arrangements. The cost savings are exponentially increased with the number of SHE people employed.

Bonus Considerations

  • You do not pay pension contributions, holidays and if required sick pay, furlough top-ups, etc.
  • The costs can be managed to accommodate your workflow and income so you only pay for what you want and need.
  • You get an unbiased opinion ‘fresh pair of eyes’, which can be particularly useful when undertaking inspections, audits, etc.
  • Our team have a vast and varied experience in a wide range of industries therefore, we can often provide industry-wide solutions that have worked in other businesses.

Safety For Construction can help you

  • Comply with your legal duties under CDM2015
  • Take into account the recommendations of Building a Safer Future, Dame Judith Hackitt’s 2018 review of the building industry
  • Help you meet your health and safety legal duties to appoint a competent person or people and…
  • Save money!!!


About the Author

Matt McKeown

Matthew joined Safety For Construction as a Principal Designer and CDM Advisor in July 2016, with over 10 years’ experience working in health and safety across a variety of sectors including spending  5 years working in the United Arab Emirates. Matt now manages his own team of Principal Designers on projects nationwide.
Having worked with a diverse range of people throughout his career, Matt has honed his communication skills and ability to develop and maintain close working relationships at all levels of a project. Matt is a keen problem solver and uses his experience to offer pragmatic solutions in design and throughout a scheme.
In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors with his beloved French Bulldog, Marcel, and attempting to play golf. Matt has a keen interest in everything music and sport related and can often be found playing air guitar in his Man United themed bedroom.