Small and low-risk businesses in the West Midlands could save up to £11 million a year with better advice and support on health and safety, according to a report.
The report, published by the Better Regulation Executive, examines how health and safety regulation affects low-risk and small businesses. It sets out recommendations to save them time and money, while improving working environments and general understanding of health and safety.
The average company spends around 20 hours a year, or more than £350, on administration meeting health and safety requirements, but cutting the time spent by just five hours per company would save businesses £150 million a year nationally, it said.
About 154,000 low risk businesses in the West Midlands currently spend almost £54 million on meeting these administrative costs.
The announcement was warmly welcomed by Birmingham Health, Safety and Environment Association, the UK’s largest local safety group.
Group chairman Bob Cole, who is chief safety advisor at Rugby-based Morgan EST, said: “We are committed to providing our help and advice on a non-profit basis, which is why we applaud this initiative for the small firms who are suffering so much in the current economic climate.
“We are particularly pleased that the Better Regulation Executive has recognised that some companies are overpaying for health and safety support, both in terms of time and money, and that it plans to address this.
“The recommendations will give strong support to our aims and objectives, in a way that will benefit most small firms.”