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  3. Cutting Budgets Must Not Reduce Health and Safety Standards

Costs are rising for businesses, notably for raw materials and energy. Businesses must find ways to cut their costs. Malcolm Gunnyeon, an expert on health and safety law, has warned against reduced spending that negatively affects health and safety. He says there are ethical, financial, and legal reasons why health and safety should not be ignored.

Protecting employee's health and safety is the right and ethical thing to do. Customers, suppliers and workers expect that health and safety are embedded in the culture of an organisation. Even in difficult financial periods, high standards of health and safety should be upheld.

The law has hgh health and safety standards and madates that every business keep health and safety risks as low as possible.  Sentencing guidelines say that harsher penalties are justified in cases where cost-cutting is at the expense of health and safety. For example, reducing costs by failure to issue appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) or purchasing poor standard PPE, can be aggregating factor when deciding sentences for health and safety breaches.

When deciding on cost-cutting, Malcolm Gunnyeon says:

"Directors must ask themselves whether the proposed reduction in spend compromises the safety of staff or members of the public."

Reducing health and safety budgets is a false economy. Fines have risen for health and safety breaches are not covered by business insurance. Fines can be related to the turnover, not the profits of a business. Courts do not consider the organisation's ability to pay a fine.


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