The Grenfell Tower tragedy has highlighted the dangers of cost-cutting and ignoring safety regulations on a national level. The local Kensington council have taken the full force of blame for the catastrophic fire that has taken over 80 lives with others still missing. Although it is such an extreme example, you can definitely take lessons from this event to take into your business place to make sure everything you are responsible for is safe and legal.
What was done wrong at Grenfell?
The mistakes made on Grenfell Tower are centred around the lack of investment into fire safety systems, highlighted in a 2010 report, but the council failed to act.
The council sought expensive superficial improvement to the building to improve the appearance of the flats and didn’t improve fire safety precautions for a fraction of the price. The out-dated building remained unsafe and has now left many lives ruined and a giant building not fit for habitation. Ronnie King said politicians stonewalled action to tighten building regulations, adding: “They always seem to need a significant loss of life before things are changed.” (The Independent)
Can you cost cut efficiently without compromising quality?
Working to your budget is important and any good business person knows that if you can save without affecting the quality of your service or workplace, then you should be doing it to keep financial efficiency. However, cost cutting in the wrong areas is very damaging, particularly if it is something you NEED to address and spend properly on.
Is your business following the correct safety regulations for your work buildings or particular line of work?
Health & Safety regulations are there to prevent and protect people from injury or even death, there is simply no place to omit certain ones for convenience. For example, if you need a working fire alarm in your work place then make sure you have one, you could be held responsible if the worst happened. As well as a morale risk, it is definitely a financial one as you could be closed down, fined, sued or found guilty of even more. It is important you raise any Health & Safety concerns with your building management if possible and insist they fix any issues, legally they are required to provide these.
Listen to people such as staff, customers and colleagues;
The Mirror reported one example of two women living in the building attempting to report their Health & Safety fear: “Both women were fighting the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation for building improvements, with help from the Radical Housing Network..” The Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) for Kensington & Chelsea failed to take appropriate action on their concerns.
When people express concerns it is not wise to judge them as an attempt to sabotage or discredit your business, especially if it is an employee. Their suggestions are more likely to be effective than judgements you make, as they are in the area every day trying to do their job as best they can. Always take this type of advice and never sweep it under the rug, if you do then you are lowering your company’s potential to improve performance.
We must take lessons learnt from this disaster, it happened in a high rise that could just as easily been the home to a businesses rather than residents. Realise that regulations are there for a reason and as a business owner it is key you follow them. The consequences are well documented, but it seems we are not as educated on the benefits as we should be.
If you have concerns with your Health and Safety Procedures and would like to review your H&S, please contact us and we will carry out a H&S Health Check. Please contact us on 0844 800 5932 or email email@example.com