UK SMEs are urged to complete a risk assessment, with new research revealing that almost a fifth of businesses in London do not have a policy in place.
Hiscox surveyed 1,500 business owners and decision-makers to determine how SMEs in the UK treat risks to the public. The global insurer used the findings to underpin its inaugural Risk Readiness Report, a resource designed to inform UK businesses about health and safety regulations.
The report reveals that over half (52%) of London businesses do not provide health and safety information such as posters and leaflets. Almost two-thirds (61%) do not provide employees with annual health and safety training either.
The Health and Safety Executive outlines: “The Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989 require employers to either display the HSE-approved law poster or to provide each of their workers with the equivalent leaflet.
“Everyone who works for you needs to know how to work safely and without risk to their health. This includes contractors and self-employed people.”
Businesses which do not implement a risk assessment, provide appropriate signage or offer regular health and safety training risk breaking the law and could pose a higher risk to employees and customers.
The Hiscox report also reveals that almost a quarter (22%) of businesses in London do not consider health and safety a priority.
This trend is corroborated by one in five (20%) London businesses failing to purchase public liability insurance.
Public liability insurance protects businesses from the legal and compensation costs of injuries and property loss or damage. The lack of coverage means employees and customers of SMEs may be unnecessarily exposed to risks.
Nick Thornhill, Direct and Partnerships Director at Hiscox, said, “The last few years have been difficult for businesses, and any unanticipated costs as a result of accidents will only add to this. Having public liability insurance along with an up to date risk assessment, protects businesses against the cost of compensation, as well as the legal expenses associated with a claim.