SMEs flout safety laws

The majority of small businesses are breaking health and safety laws, according to a survey by St John Ambulance.

Some 79 per cent of businesses admit to having periods of time where no trained first aiders are present in the workplace, while 15 per cent have never carried out an assessment to determine risks within the workplace.

According to the charity, there were 1,100 cases of businesses being taken to court because of health and safety failings last year, of which 87 per cent were found guilty of malpractice.

Richard Evens, training and marketing director at St John Ambulance, says: ‘Health and safety is certainly not something that should be skimped on but we realise that smaller businesses can find it daunting when faced with the prospect of dealing with risk assessments, protocols and legal obligations.’

The organisation has launched a new course aimed at helping small to medium sized businesses understand the basic processes involved in making their workplace legally compliant. For more information go to their website.

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