Health and safety is important to businessMaintaining a healthy workforce is a more pressing issue to many UK small businesses than combating environmental waste, a new report has found.

The study, commissioned by the UK200 group for the Forum of Private Business, revealed that although 80 per cent of such firms believed protecting the environment was a priority, only around a quarter prioritised waste reduction in their businesses.

Furthermore, updating staff training and health training was a major concern for almost half of respondents.

Commenting on the findings, Harry Katz, principle of Norwest Consultants, said: “Health and safety in my opinion has grown from being ensuring that companies provide a safe environment for their workers to mollycoddling and creating a compensation culture and needs a full overhaul.”

He added that many companies were now having to spend too much time and money on insuring themselves against “imaginary risks”, rather than focussing on growing their businesses – which could include boosting their environmental credentials.