Health and safety advice in toolbox

HEALTH and safety information for small businesses is being made easier to access.

HEALTH and safety information for small businesses is being made easier to access.

An online Health and Safety Toolbox, bringing official advice online together in one place, has gone live. It has been put together with busy firms in mind and aims to make it easier to find relevant guidance on specific risks.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) worked with businesses on the website to ensure small business owners and employers can avoid wasting time reading what they don’t need to, spending money on unnecessary bureaucracy or resorting to hiring costly consultants.

It includes sections on the most common risks, such as manual handling, trip hazards and harmful substances, which are explained in plain English.

David Snowball, HSE director for Scotland & Northern England, said: “While our inspectors focus on ensuring that higher-risk businesses in the North East are taking the right precautions to protect their workers and the public, we do appreciate that employers in smaller, lower-risk businesses can feel daunted by what health and safety law requires.”

Mary Boughton from the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The FSB welcomes the HSE’s work to simplify guidance and make it appropriate for low-risk businesses. 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.

“It is important that health and safety regulations are risk-based and as simple to comply with as possible.”

The guide is available via the HSE website at


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer