Business start-ups can turn to Internet for advice

Vital health and safety information for small business start-ups can now be
found on the Internet, courtesy of a partnership between IOSH and Norwich Union
Risk Services.

A new website,, has been created to provide essential
guidance for small businesses on their health, safety and environmental
obligations. It is free to use and is supported by the Health and Safety
Executive and Small Business Service.

By interacting with a friendly website helper, known as "Alex",
users can learn about general principles and legal stipulations for health and
safety at work, and will eventually be able to explore the particular
requirements of their industry in further detail.

The site provides guidance on welfare matters, insurance categories and risk
assessment and examines the contents of a health and safety policy, all
relevant to the size and nature of the user’s organisation.

The overall aim of is to provide a site which is
interactive, informative and user-friendly, enabling small and medium size
companies and business start-ups to meet their health and safety
responsibilities right from the beginning. It is hoped that the site will go
some way in addressing the current situation in which, on average, the rate of
fatal and major injuries in small firms is almost double that for firms
employing more than a thousand people.

The site, which was launched in October to mark the start of the European
Week for Health and Safety at Work, will be developed further with the addition
of extra criteria, including occupational health provision. Further information
about can be found in a free leaflet available through the
Small Business Service, local Business Link operators and the Prince’s Trust.

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