Health and safety drive could save small businesses £300m

Small businesses could save up to £300m a year if they had better advice and support on health and safety, according to a government report.

The report by the Better Regulation Executive, part of the Department for Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, has set out a series of recommendations on how small businesses could save time and money in accessing health and safety advice.

The average company spends about 20 hours a year, valued at more than £350, on administration to do with meeting health and safety requirements. Cutting the time spent by just five hours per company would save low-risk businesses £150m a year, the report claimed.

Recommendations included improving access to web-based and telephone support, better advice on when and how to buy in help from consultants and better use of HSE and local authority inspectors.

Business minister John Hutton said: “Introducing simple steps, such as making information more easily available and getting better advice to firms that need it, will help save time and money for UK business.

“Cutting the amount of paperwork for low-risk businesses, and making complex regulations easier to understand, will also help to create safer environments for workers and the public,” he added.

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