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A recent survey carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has shown that many companies are wasting time and money completing unnecessary health and safety assessments.

The study, which asked 45 small to medium sized businesses about their approach to health and safety, found that there are still many myths about the subject.

While such fundamentals as using the correct workwear are vital, the study revealed some extraordinary lengths that businesses are being advised to go to.

In one instance, a company polled admitted that it had carried out a risk assessment for members of its staff using a tape measure. Another issued guidelines on using stairs.

Roughly one in nine (11%) of firms also believed that only qualified electricians can PAT test small appliances like kettles and phone chargers.

However, using the findings to point businesses to use the HSE online ABC tools to health and safety in the workplace, the small business lead for the body, Kate Haire, said:

“Health and safety is all about taking reasonable steps to manage serious risks of ill-health and injury in the workplace. If something sounds completely unreasonable, more often than not it will be totally unnecessary too.”

In the study, around 30% of respondents felt they were “hopeful have a go” in their approach to health and safety; knowing they need to take action, but not sure what that should be.

Additionally, 22% percent of people felt they were not capable of managing health and safety themselves, preferring to take on a consultant to help.

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