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Majority of SMEs breaking health & safety laws

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Just under 80% of small businesses are breaking health and safety laws by failing to train their staff in first aid, a new survey has revealed.

First aid charity St John’s Ambulance found that 79% of businesses failed to have properly trained first aiders present at all times in the workplace, while 15% had failed to even carry out risk assessments.

St John’s Ambulance claims that, while businesses are employing the required number of first-aiders, many are misinterpreting guidelines on first aid provision.

Any time a first aider is on holiday or off sick a business needs someone who can step in and provide that role. If they fail to do so, employers could breach legal obligations by not ensuring adequate absence cover.

“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,” said Richard Evens, Training and Marketing Director at St John Ambulance.

Official figures show that 1,100 businesses were taken to court for health and safety failings last year, after more than 100,000 workplace injuries and deaths. 87% of those cases resulted in malpractice rulings and St John’s Ambulance believes more needs to be done to encourage and uphold safety standards.

“It’s vitally important people have these skills, as first aiders save lives,” added Clive James, Training and Development Manager at St John’s.”

Written by Andrew Hodges

February 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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