New research from businesslink.gov.uk, the government’s national website providing practical guidance for small and medium-sized enterprises, has found that businesses consider time to be the key barrier to implementing a full health and safety policy. Seventy two percent of the 275 businesses surveyed cited time as the key obstacle to improving health and safety processes followed by cost (50%) and a lack of staff awareness (35%).
To help small and medium sized businesses overcome these barriers and improve their health and safety, businesslink.gov.uk has launched a health and safety performance indicator.
Developed with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Association of British Insurers (ABI), this free and confidential tool will provide a benchmark against other businesses across sectors and sizes. This will also enable them to review their performance with their insurance brokers, helping them to get the best terms for their business.
The survey also found that staff welfare is overwhelmingly the main driver to businesses improving their health and safety procedures, (70%), followed by potential cost savings made through reduced insurance premiums (56%) and increased productivity (48%).
However, businesses could also be missing out on reducing their overheads; more than half the businesses surveyed (56%) don’t feel their current health and safety policy could bring savings, with nearly a quarter of businesses (22%) not knowing how to make savings.
Alan Morley, Policy Adviser at HSE commented, “HSE is keen to encourage SME’s to realise the business benefits that properly taking health and safety into account can bring. In support of that we have created the indicator to help SME’s find out how they are doing. We recommend all SME’s try it. It is appropriate, anonymous and free. What have you got to lose?”