Build a business case for an audit
The British Safety Council understands the challenges faced by those wanting to undertake an audit. YOU may understand the value and benefits, but senior colleagues need a compelling business case to quantify – or at least qualify – your company’s investment.
This page will help you put together a business case for a British Safety Council audit. Follow the steps, gather the pertinent information and present your tailored business case.
The most important thing to communicate is that an audit is not just a safety inspection, it is a consultative process that helps businesses establish best practice through continual improvement and certified excellence.
Don’t forget, if you have any questions or queries, you can call us direct on +44 (0)20 3510 8355.
Open your business case with your vision, ambition and mission. “I am requesting an audit to give the Board reassurance of compliance, reduce costs, implement best practice to drive continuous improvement and build [the company’s] reputation for excellence in our sector.” Consider relating this to your company’s own brand vision or mission statement.
It is important to contextualise your request. Write a few sentences about the company and its health and safety record: compliance, legal fees, absence and sickness. Where possible, draw comparisons between your company and industry averages.
What is an audit?
Briefly explain what you are asking for:
“The audit process involves a 360-degree consultative approach that assesses performance before recommending tailored solutions for best practice. By working closely with leadership, auditors can help to implement improved or new processes and systems to drive improvements. Undertaking an audit also results in certified excellence.”
Personalise this statement if there are particular areas you and/or leadership are keen to address.
You have said what you want to achieve and what you are asking for to achieve it. Now you must break down the broad benefits into specifics by explaining what each of them means for your business. The key is to address the barriers to approval: budgets, staff buy-in, time and the ability to show demonstrable outcomes.
Select the benefits that are relevant to your business. You can cut and paste these sections into your business case.
|Benefits||Impact on the [the company]|
|Certified excellence||This can be included in marketing and PR|
|Meet recognised international standards||Our association with the British Safety Council as an internationally recognised body, can be included in bids/tenders to help build our international reputation, aiding growth, new business and investment|
|Most effective way to ensure employee safety, health and environmental management systems reflect relevant legislative requirements||
This will help ensure [the company] is not at risk from legal proceedings resulting from accidentsReduced risk of reputational damage due to accidents or legal proceedings
|Improved risk management and reduction in the number of accidents – serious, minor and near-misses||
Reduced absenteeism, downtime and loss of staff improves productivityThis also results in reduced time wasted recruiting replacement staff and the reduced risk of legal proceedings/being sued
|Implementation of best practice tailored for [the company’s] specific industry||Best practice includes continual self-assessment and improvement which means great lifetime value|
|Ensures employer duty of care and corporate social responsibility||
This protects the company legally
|Improved working environment||
This sends a message to all employees that [the company] is committed to employee wellbeing – boosting moraleThis can mean improved talent acquisition, retention and productivity
|Improved reputation of [the company] and leadership within the company and sector||This can improve the reputation of [the company] leadership who will be viewed as enablers of progress and excellence, not barriers to them|
|Personal development for key staff||Audits bring new skills, mindsets and knowledge into the company to drive ongoing improvement|
|Organisational assets and resource efficiencies||This means time/money savings due to reduced managerial/administerial time wasted|
|Working with the British Safety Council means collaborating with an organisation who help shape UK legislation, support global businesses and campaign for improved worker safety||Ability to align [the company] with a recognised authority whose values are driven by continual improvement and the pursuit of excellence|
Return on investment
While reputation cannot always be quantified, it is easier to show the pounds-and-pence impact of accidents and illness. The key to putting together a compelling business case, is to show how much your business has lost and/or could lose due to accident and illness, and compare it to the cost of an audit that will help reduce that figure. For example, it is estimated that for every £1 of insured losses, accidents and ill health cost business between £8 and £36 in uninsured losses. (This alone can be a shocking figure: just ask your HR team if there have been any insurance payouts in the past 10 years, and times that number by eight – that is the smallest amount that accident or illness cost your business).
Speak to your HR department to gather as many of these stats and figures and put them into the table below (after removing the examples). As well as the specific costs and expenses, you can work out the amount that absences and reduced productivity cost business using HSE figures.
Multiply each business cost by the number of instances for your company, before totalling the overall cost column. This is the cost to your business based on national averages. Include a sentence that says:
“Using HSE averages, we can calculate that the cost of accidents and illness to [the company] has been £[insert figure] over the last 12 months. An audit [costing £XXX] will assess areas for improvement and help to implement best practice that will result in considerable savings by reducing the number of accidents and absences.”
|Cost to business*||Your company||Cost|
|Workplace fatal accidents||£99,700||
|7 or more days absence||£5,100||
|Up to 6 days absence||£110||
|Up to 6 days absence||£150||
|7 or more days absence||£8,300||
|Cost of replacing lost staff**||£30,000 per person||
|Any legal costs related to accident, injury or ill health**|
|Other costs due to accident, injury or ill health**|
|Value of any other time lost due to accident, injury or ill health**|
|Costs of repair/replacement of damage to machinery or other business assets due to accidents**|
*These national average costs include: productivity costs (net lost income, taking into account of loss of output and earnings due to absence from work, and offsetting transfers from one party to another, e.g. benefits payments are a cost to Government, but an equal and opposite offsetting benefit to individuals); production costs, such as cost of recruitment and work reorganisation; the cost of Employer’s Liability Compulsory Insurance, less compensation pay-outs to individuals; health and rehabilitation costs, such as NHS costs; administrative and legal costs, such as costs of administering benefits claims.
**Collect the figures for the last 10 years and calculate a yearly average.
Audits can help reduce these and other costs by XXX%, which could mean your business could save £XXXX each year.
Why British Safety Council?
Many organisations offer health and safety audits, but the British Safety Council are global leaders in health and safety, and our audits offer a higher order of expertise and ongoing value.
- We help organisations of all sizes and in all sectors develop and maintain effective policies and processes
- We work with our members to develop best practice
- We’ve been doing this for 60 years, educating millions of workers and making hundreds of thousands of workplaces safer
- We’re consulted directly on legislation and actively campaign to raise standards
- 60 years of supporting excellent health, safety and environmental management
- As part of its charitable work, the British Safety Council leads health and safety networking forums for all sectors, and facilitates and promotes best practice in Britain and overseas
- As a not-for-profit organisation, we use all our resources to reduce risk and prevent injuries in the workplace, across the world.
Below is a list of important things to consider when creating your business case:
- Make enough time to fully develop your business case
- Keep it simple to ensure your point is clear and compelling
- Only highlight things relevant to your organisation.