The majority of UK workers would be reluctant to blow the whistle on their employer if they were in breach of health and safety regulations, new research shows.

According to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), only 28 per cent of employees would report their company to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) if they thought laws were being broken.

However, of those questioned, 74 per cent said they would inform a line manager or supervisor if they felt they or their colleagues were at risk of illness or injury.

This suggests that most employees trust their managers to resolve health and safety problems for them, the IOSH claimed.

Ray Hurst, president of IOSH, said workers may be unwilling to report their employers over health and safety breaches for a number of reasons.

"It could be that people are very loyal to their employers or, more likely, that they’re scared of the consequences if they get found out having told. It’s also quite possible that people don’t know how to report to the HSE."

IOSH recently published a guide to accidents in the workplace with the aim of helping employers learn from past mistakes and prevent accidents from occurring in the future.