How Health and Safety is Important to Local Communities
All around the country there are examples of towns (and even cities) where one company has been the main employer of that location's inhabitants. It is much less common these days compared to a few decades ago when it was quite normal for one business to employ over half the population, especially the men of the town, sometimes with different generations of the same family working together at the same premises.
Even today, whilst there is much more diversity in the labour market, and improvements in transportation infrastructure and internet connections means that people can work further afield or even at home, there will still be many towns where one company is the principal employer for large numbers of workers. This means that what happens at this business can have a significant effect on the local community; either positive or negative, depending upon what happens.
One issue which has always been of tremendous importance to the community is that of health and safety. Even if a person is not injured or made ill themselves, they are likely to feel a greater sense of compassion when it is a tight-knit workforce from the same place where most will know each other out of work or through a friend of a friend. Of course, whilst any accident in the workplace is likely to result in some form of complaint and drop in morale from other workers who will start to worry if the same could happen again but to them this time, these feelings can be heightened when there is a feeling of community versus a single or group of managers. In some cases it can even result in outright protests and strike action.
What it does mean however is that it is sometimes easier to negotiate and discuss matters relating to health and safety when there is a general desire for it amongst the entire workforce. Health and safety training and the implementation of a health and safety culture is so much easier when staff members are amenable to it rather than resistant to any form of change or interference to their way of working from management. Rather than fighting any changes, a workforce which understands the importance of health and safety and openly desires such improvements will be able to work with management and rapidly adopt changes which significantly minimise the likelihood of accidents and illnesses occurring as a result of workplace activities.