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New health and safety hub to free up time and save money for SMEs

A radical revamp of the way small businesses access official advice about health and safety online has been launched. The new Health and Safety Toolbox brings together in one place ‘everything a small, low-risk business could need to manage health and safety’.

The package of guidance – developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) with the support of businesses – is designed to help business owners and employers avoid wasting precious time reading what they don’t need to, wasting money on unnecessary bureaucracy or resorting to hiring costly consultants.

Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, said: “By going online and working through it for themselves, for free, we hope low-risk SMEs will realise that they don’t need expensive consultancy or reams of paperwork to manage their responsibilities. It is of no benefit to businesses or workers if over the top precautions are introduced.”

Minister for employment Mark Hoban, said: “Small and low risk businesses should be focusing their time on growing and becoming a success not having to waste precious time and money on unnecessary bureaucracy. This Toolbox will make it quick and simple for businesses to discover everything they need to know about health and safety.”

Mary Boughton, Chairman of the Health, Safety & Risk Management Policy Unit at the Federation of Small Businesses, added: “The Toolbox should give small, low-risk businesses the information that they need in a simple and easy to use way without asking them to read through reams of guidance.”

Quick, simple guides and interactive tools on how to identify, assess and control common workplace hazards have been compiled. Core health and safety issues relating to the type of business, its workforce and workplace are set out more simply then ever before whilst sections on the most common risks – such as manual handling, trip hazards and harmful substances – as well as tips on protective equipment are set out in plain English.

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