Article date: 29 July 2009
Despite the recession, the majority of large businesses in the UK still recognise the importance of health and safety, says Aviva Risk Management Solutions (ARMS), the new name for Norwich Union Risk Services.
According to a recent ARMS survey*, three quarters of businesses have maintained the number of external consultants for health and safety, and 90% have a dedicated competent person that focuses solely on health and safety.
However, although it is good to know that the majority of businesses are not cutting corners and appreciate the importance of good health and safety measures, Kevin Chicken, training and consultancy manager for ARMS, is remaining cautious: “Although this is extremely promising, we want to make sure that smaller businesses continue to take health and safety just as seriously and keep it a priority.”
A recent survey by the Forum of Private Business revealed that following the introduction of the HSE’s new workplace strategy, an alarming 25% of small business owners are worried about being prosecuted by the HSE over lax standards.
“In an effort to cut costs, spending on health and safety may be severely reduced, particularly among small and medium-sized businesses. We would recommend that every business has a fully-qualified competent person that is solely dedicated to health and safety issues. We would also urge businesses to seek a professional opinion on the more crucial matters, which can mean using external consultants who can help to identify, assess and manage any risks.
“Businesses must recognise that cutting their health and safety budget is a false economy and that it should remain a top priority to ensure the safety of employees and the reputation of the business itself.”
With the introduction of the Health and Safety Offences Act 2008, which came into effect on 16 January, having adequate measures in place is even more critical.
ARMS can help businesses to address health and safety challenges in cost effective and practical ways. It offers insured customers and broker partners discounts on a range of health and safety training courses.
For more information, visit www.aviva.co.uk/risksolutions.
For further information, please contact:
Sam Bramwell at Staniforth on 0161 919 8024 / 07738 196667 or Sally Leeman, Aviva’s UK Insurance press office on 01603 684 225 / 07789 270 677.
Notes to editors:
* Aviva’s own research amongst 200 small to medium-sized business owners in the UK.
Aviva Risk Management Solutions - the new name for Norwich Union Risk Services - is the specialist risk management division of Aviva that is dedicated to helping UK businesses manage their risks in an effective way.
They achieve this through their national team of approximately 180 staff which includes:
- Risk advisers and specialists - Who visit commercial properties across the UK to help identify risks and recommend dynamic and practical risk management solutions for Norwich Union’s insured customers.
- Safety consultants - Who provide expert health, safety and environmental training and consultancy services.
News releases and a selection of images are available at www.aviva.com/media