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Did you know: An ineffective health and safety budget could affect your company's growth targets?

by , 11 December 2014
With January just a few weeks away, you're probably finalising your targets for next year. These targets include financial and growth goals.

To reach these kinds of goals, you need to create budgets. But one of the most forgotten about budgets is a health and safety budget.

Forgetting about this budget or getting it wrong could seriously impact your company's bottom line. And you won't be able to achieve those growth targets you want.

Here's why...

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21 Items you should have in your Occupational Health and Safety Budget

Here's why you won't achieve your growth targets if you have an ineffective health and safety budget

Let's say you draw up a health and safety budget, but you only include machine maintenance and the cost of doing your health and safety audit
When a DoL inspect comes to assess your workplace. he tells you to retrain your existing employees and replace a few pieces of safety equipment. In total, everything comes to R500 000. This could be money you didn't budget for.
On top of this, you may not realise you didn't budget to train the new employees you wanted either. If you include that cost, which you have to, it could increase even more. 
As a result, you may realise you just don't have the money to hire those new employees. And you have to put your company's growth targets on hold as a result. 
But, if you'd budgeted for all your health and safety expenses, you could have planned accordingly. This would have helped you afford all your expenses while still achieving your growth targets.
So how do you create an effective health and safety budget?
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Are you responsible for compiling your SHE file?
Are you struggling to keep up-to-date with all the paperwork?
Do you waste your time formatting all the documents?
Are you stressed out about all your legal requirements?
Of course you are. You have enough on your plate already, and keeping up with paperwork isn't on the top of your to-do list. But unfortunately, it's part of your job because it's a legal requirement. And, you've answered 'YES' to at least half of the questions above.

Here's how to create an effective health and safety budget

To create a health and safety budget, you first have to figure out what you legal requirements are. According to the Health and Safety Budget, there are 21 of these requirements. 
These are the most important part of your health and safety budget. After all, it's these requirements a DoL inspector will check for. 
Once you know what legal requirements you have to pay for, then budget for unexpected expenses. 
Here, you can't know what amount you must set aside, so use your discretion. This amount can cover machines suddenly breaking, the DoL inspector telling you to get new equipment or training emergency replacement staff. 
If none of these problems happen, you'll have money left over to improve your health and safety programme.
For example, do you want to give your health and safety representatives more advanced training? Or do you want to invest in new state-of-the-art safety systems. 
Once you include all these factors, you'll have an effective health and safety budget.
This will also help you create your growth targets. If you can see you don't have enough money to train 20 new employees and give them PPE, you can adjust your targets.
So don't just shrug off your health and safety budget. It's an important tool to help you set realistic growth targets and achieve them. 
There's more to know about drawing up a 100% effective health and safety budget. The Health and Safety Budget contains everything you need to know. 

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