Not only can adopting a proactive approach to health and safety lower accident rates, it can also help firms to become more profitable.

That is the conclusion of research recently conducted by academics at Loughborough University and cited by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), which suggested that organisations with a positive health and safety culture had a 25 per cent higher profit margin than those that did not.

In addition, the study found that firms which were proactive in this respect also reported a 50 per cent lower rate of accidents and days lost.

Research leader Professor Cheryl Haslam said: "Companies that take a positive approach to health and safety, rather than merely complying with the law, are more likely to be profitable and safer."

She added that it was also discovered that people working in businesses that had a more active stance on health and safety were generally more committed and satisfied with their jobs.

In related news, the IOSH recently called on employers to improve the health of male employees in support of this year’s Men’s Health Week, which is running from June 9th-15th.