Page 1: The importance of Health & Safety
Health and Safety lies at the heart of an organisation's commitment to the people that work for it and to its customers. This case study examines MFI's commitment to Health and Safety and shows how, in recent years, the company has successfully developed new approaches to auditing and measuring Health & Safety performance standards in individual stores. MFI staff have been trained and given the responsibility to implement quality Health and Safety procedures at store level.
As a retailer, MFI is acutely aware that its business not only depends on attracting customers to its superstores to buy products, but that the safety of those customers is of great importance. In addition, MFI places great emphasis on the Health and Safety of its employees. Health and Safety has been successfully integrated into every manager's performance targets and this enables it to remain within his or her focus of attention. Responsibility for Health and Safety performance is clearly quoted in every manager's job description and is part of his/her quarterly performance appraisal criteria with the area manager.
Average audit scores for each retail area are calculated and ranked by the Safety Department so that Regional Managers can compare safety performance between areas. As standards improve, average scores also improve. Annual comparisons are made to ensure continuous improvement towards the goal of excellent safety standards. Many stores now achieve 100scores in one or two sections of their audit. A small number of stores have achieved 100scores in all sections. This helps encourage other stores to strive for excellence because these standards have been proved to be possible.
High standards of Health and Safety bring positive business benefits on three fronts:
Economic - the costs of accidents to a business can be crippling and can destroy the good reputation of the organisation.
Statutory - with 186 MFI stores and over 75 Howden Joinery Depots, the MFI organisation is regularly visited by Enforcement Officers working for local authorities to maintain Health and Safety Standards. MFI needs to make sure it can always satisfy these officers that it is complying with the relevant Acts of Parliament, Regulations and Codes of Practice. In addition, stores must have a Fire Certificate which shows that they are complying with the requirements of County fire brigades. MFI seeks to more than satisfy each and every statutory requirement which can be applied to its Health and Safety performance.
Morale - every successful business needs a motivated workforce which is committed to the business and to improving its performance. MFI actively seeks to develop a partnership with its employees, showing a keen concern for their welfare in the workplace.