17 August 2015
The majority of traders work to the popular myth that only businesses with 5 or more employees need to worry about health and safety.
Indeed the law states that only businesses with 5 or more employees need a written health and safety policy. That doesn’t mean that smaller businesses don’t need to comply with legislation, or demonstrate safe working practices to protect the public and any staff they employ.
The plumbing and heating sector is largely fragmented - 80% of all providers have less than 3 employees. It’s fair to reason therefore that the vast majority of plumbing and heating contractors are working without the correct level of consideration to health and safety requirements.
These traders are missing out, and here’s why:
1. Some customers will not and cannot use them
Businesses who employ the services of contractors have a responsibility for the actions of those contractors as they become the ‘lead contractor.’
For example, when a business requests you to work at their premises, they should be assessing your competency, asking for documents including a health & safety policy, risk assessments, method statements, evidence of relevant training undertaken and any reportable accidents in the last 5 years.
The same applies to letting agents who request you to work at properties that they manage.
With this responsibility, a number of businesses will only use contractors who can provide them with the documentation that they need. If you can’t provide it, then you will be missing out on potential work from lucrative commercial contracts.
2. They could be competing with such a smaller group of competitors
By adopting a health and safety management system contractors have the opportunity to reduce the number of competitors they are competing with down to a much smaller number – maybe just 20% of the entire market!
3. It’s the right thing to do, and customers appreciate it
Contractors have a moral duty to create safe working environments, whether that’s for their staff or for customers and public who may be affected by their work. That in itself presents a powerful message to not only commercial, but also residential based clients. It tells them that the company they have appointed is responsible, and above all, trustworthy to work in their homes and around their families in a safe and careful manner.
4. Good health and safety practice = more profitable and productive business
Research shows businesses who manage a robust health and safety system enjoy greater productivity, efficiency and profits.
Reduction of sickness absence; lost time due to accidents and associated costs; greater staff engagement and productivity; reduced staff turnover recruitment and costs are just some of the ways these businesses benefit.
Many small contractors find setting up and managing a health and safety programme too time consuming and disruptive to their daily work pattern. Your Plumber franchisees are each provided with a comprehensive health and safety policy, and given guidance on how to implement and demonstrate safe working practices into their daily activities - meaning they can provide their services to a range of commercial clients as well as residential homeowners, whilst letting clients know that when they appoint Your Plumber, they can expect their work to be carried out safely and with consideration to others around them.
On-going health and safety support is just one of the ways we provide support to our franchisees to enable them to maintain sharp competitive advantages over the competition.
Questions? Call 01202 230070
or email YourPlumber here