Alarming Lack of Health and Safety Measures Found in SMEs Reveals Shocking New Poll

image is showing 4 different SMEs with a text indicating that only 52% of SMEs offer access to first aid.

Lack of health and safety information was highlighted in a recent poll by insurance company Hiscox exposing a troubling trend among UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The poll surveyed 1,500 business leaders and found that nearly one-third of SMEs did not have a risk assessment policy in place. With the number of SMEs in the UK growing from 3.4 million in 2000 to 5.5 million in 2022, it means that a staggering 2.5 million businesses are not compliant with relevant legislation.

Lack of Health and Safety Information

The poll also revealed a significant lack of health and safety information being provided to employees. Less than 50% of SMEs supply necessary health and safety materials, such as posters and leaflets, as required by The Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989 (as amended).


  • 52% of SMEs offer access to first aid facilities.
  • 36% of SMEs provide annual health and safety training.
  • 28% of SMEs have a person dedicated to health and safety.

Misplaced Priorities?

Interestingly, the data also showed that more SMEs (71%) have public liability (PL) insurance than those that have taken proactive steps to mitigate risk. This suggests that many SMEs only address health and safety issues after an incident occurs. While PL insurance is not legally required, the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 mandates that employers must have insurance covering employee injuries and display the insurance details for all staff to see.

Immediate Action Required

These findings are sure to concern the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which may lead to increased scrutiny of SMEs’ compliance. Non-compliant businesses can face fines of £2,500 per day for lacking proper insurance and £1,000 for failing to display their employers’ liability certificate or refusing to make it available to inspectors.

Top Tips for Getting Back on Track

It is crucial to take action to ensure that your business is on the right side of enforcement action. Rectifying any gaps in your health and safety measures can be done quickly and cost-effectively. So much information is available on what employers need to do, so providing a lack of health and safety information to employees is unacceptable.

Here are some tips to get you back on track:5 rings showing what are the 5 steps to a risk assessment. The image also signifies a key aspect of health and safety in the workplace.

  • Start by implementing a risk assessment policy that meets all requirements.
  • Display the health and safety law poster prominently, and dedicate a noticeboard to relevant information, such as first aid arrangements.
  • Encourage staff to volunteer to become involved in health and safety matters and provide them with training.
  • Review your training requirements, establish a training matrix, and create an action plan.

Take decisive measures today to ensure the longevity of your small or medium enterprise. Prioritise the well-being of your business and employees by taking proactive steps. Gain valuable insights on conducting a comprehensive health and safety review at today.


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