Companies that view health and safety as a burden either lack understanding about the issue or are "not doing it right", an industry body has said.

Speaking during the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH’s) recent annual conference, president of the organisation Ray Hurst said that health and safety should not be problematic, adding that firms just have to get the advice they need to find appropriate answers.

Mr Hurst stated: "[Businesses] need to understand that the actual requirements aren’t that onerous or as portrayed in the ‘elf and safety’ stories they may read and that the benefits are more than worth the effort."

He went on to appeal to firms that have a problem with health and safety to talk to a qualified expert and not to "struggle on in silence".

Speaking at the same conference, health and safety minister Lord McKenzie stated that risk management should be about practical steps to protect people, as opposed to "bureaucratic back covering".