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Avoid these four health and safety budget mistakes so you can afford to implement your company safety programme

by , 18 December 2014
If you think your health and safety programme is a once off expense, you're wrong. Yes, the setup costs at the beginning are the worst, but they aren't the only expenses. After all, you need to monitor, maintain and improve your company's health and safety each year.

This is why you need to draw up a health and safety budget. It needs to cover all the health and safety costs you might have to face during the coming year.

I'm going to show you what the most common health and safety budgeting mistakes are so you can avoid them in 2015...


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How to prepare your Health and Safety Budget

Make sure you can afford your company safety programme by avoiding these health and safety budgeting mistakes 

1. Not including an emergency fund
When emergencies happen they take a lot of resources. For example, if your employee has a serious accident with a machine. You have to stop work, investigate and interview witnesses. Then you have to take the findings to your health and safety committee. Lastly you need to put safety measures in place. 
All of this can take time, which takes money.
And if there's an even worse emergency, such as a workplace fire, you need the resources to deal with this and the injuries it could cause. 
Also include a set amount in your health and safety budget that you can keep aside in case there's an emergency.
2. Ignoring small items
It's a major mistake to ignore the cost of replacing or buying small items, like PPE. You might think R500 for a new hard hat isn't a big deal. But if seven employees lose their hard hats each month, that's R3 500 a month, just to replace hard hats. 
Even if you put measures in place to protect your company's PPE you still need to budget for replacing it if you need to. 
3. Not looking at past health and safety expenses
The best way to predict future expenses is to look at past ones. If you can see you have more accidents happening around the end of the year, then you can budget more money for December to deal with the increase in injuries. 
You can also see how often your machinery needs maintenance, when your employees need refresher training and how often the DoL sends inspectors to your workplace. This can help you identify areas you'll need to budget more for. 
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4. Not taking free services into account
If you can take free services into account when you draw up your health and safety budget, you can reduce costs. 
And by free services, I also mean what you can get your employees to do. For example, if you can include health and safety audits into your safety officer's duties, you don't have to hire someone from outside to do it. 
Your health and safety budget is an important part of protecting your employees because it's how you make sure you can afford the health and safety measures you need to put in place. 
To make sure your health and safety budget includes all the right requirements, check out the Health and Safety Budget

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