Lack of Health and Safety Information Hindering SMEs

Small and medium sized businesses within the UK have claimed that a lack of good-quality, accessible guidance and information on health and safety is preventing them from improving their health and safety management; according to an IOSH survey.

The IOSH survey, Safety in Numbers? questioned over 1000 business leaders, with workforces up to 250 employers.

The findings of the survey were published earlier this month and found that despite the efforts made by HSE, IOSH and other health and safety bodies to engage and help SMEs by providing tailored information in formats that are easy to understand, more than 25% of business leaders said “better access to free, high-quality health and safety guidance” would benefit their companies.

Participants in the survey also stipulated that employer-liability insurance premiums should be reduced to recognise good health and safety management – a benefit which is already available – whilst two-thirds claimed they would welcome tax breaks to provide subsidised employee access to public gyms, or sports facilities.

The survey also reported that half of those who took part felt that tax breaks for employee therapy for non work-related injury or illness would encourage them to provide more health support.

Rob Strange OBE, IOSH chief executive, said: “We think modest government investment could yield enormous benefits in productivity and fewer demands on the state.

“Firms wanting to the do the right thing and support their workers should be helped to do so. Good health and safety is good for business and for tax-payers, too.”