I have long been of the view that the damage caused by poor PR following accidents and incidents can hit firms far harder than the fines which courts may levy.  Today the news advises that the directors of the failed contractor Ikon Construction are saying that one of the reasons for their demise is an ongoing HSE and criminal investigation resulting from a death on one of their worksites.
 
It is interesting to note that the man who lost his life was not directly employed by IKON but was working for one of its subcontractors.  He fell through a roof on the IKON site, dying from the injuries sustained.   The investigation had spent some time looking at IKON in it’s role as main contractor.
 
It is understood that in statements included in the administrator’s proposals, the firm’s directors said a primary cause of its insolvency was the “adverse publicity” following the death.  In turn this had, according to the Directors, caused uncertainty about the company and preventing them from securing performance bonds on a range of contracts.
 
Having robust safety systems in place is one thing, but the key to successful safety management is driving those right down the supply chain.  I am thankful that ISO45001 recognises this need and look forward to seeing improvements across industry as everyone starts to ‘step up their game’. It’s no longer enough to just manage your own processes, you need to think carefully about the interested parties who can or may impact on you and your company.