Budget time for health and safety!

Vicki Filsonb 2010 WBK

Vicki Filby-Filson
Senior Consultant, Assurity Consulting
27th September 2019

In the last few weeks ‘health and safety budgets’ have been a recurring conversation whilst I’ve been out and about. This has got me thinking about what a health and safety budget actually is and what should be included in it.

Does ‘health and safety’ even need a separate budget?

Asking around, the contents of a health and safety budget can contain anything from latex gloves to manual handling training, fire extinguishers to mouse mats, first aid boxes, to salt for the winter.

If health and safety is as we hope, fully integrated into the day to day operation of a business, surely these items are just as integral to operations as anything else and not specialist items only to be considered by the health and safety manager and out of their budget. Should fire extinguishers not fall in the facilities budget, mouse mats – IT, training – the training budget? After all in reality sending an zookeeper on an animal management course is equally important to their safety as a risk assessment course.

After further thought, areas that need to be in the health and safety budget could include external consultancy support where internal competence or resource could be unavailable, specialist online systems to support management and anything else the health and safety manager, advisor or coordinator needs to do their job. And time; time is needed for health and safety, but a little time now will pay dividends in the future… and perhaps leave in biscuits for the health and safety committee meetings!