The report raises a number of points, and will give all consultants food for though. The findings that stand out for me though, were:
- 39% of SMEs thought that the polices and procedures that they have in place for health and safety are excessive and disproportionate; and
- 35% think that there is no real link between what they have to do for health and safety and keeping employees safe.
The research also recognises Health and safety consultants play an important role in helping SMEs with the burdens of health and safety rules and regs; and, importantly, that consultants are not a driver of health and safety rules.
But surely there is something wrong here? Consultants are doing a good job in helping businesses, but a significant minority still say that their health and safety systems are not right. Perhaps this is something to do with the consultants? The report notes that large consultancies have dedicated sales teams that are under pressure to get business and that this is the driving factor rather than the needs of the business.
So, I think the conclusion is obvious: consultants DO help small business, but only if you use the right one!
This paper explores perceptions of health and safety ‘rules’ and their effects both on businesses (particularly SMEs)and the health and safety system. They persist despite significant Government attention to perceptions of health and safety burden under its better regulation agenda. Health and safety ‘rules’ are obligations imposed not government regulation but by businesses or business intermediary organisations. They are variously described by interested parties as ‘blue tape’, ‘business to business burdens’, ‘privatesector regulation’ and similar terms. This review will refer to them as health and safety ‘rules’”