The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has urged employers to take health and safety matters more seriously, claiming a significant proportion of firms still have a relatively fast and loose attitude.

RoSPA occupational safety adviser Roger Bibbings insisted that the Health and Safety at Work Act itself was largely sound, but suggested perceptions of precautionary measures had been distorted by some sections of the media.

"Some people seem to be getting the safety balance wrong," he explained. "People are still being hurt in easily preventable accidents because not enough is being done to ensure safety."

Mr Bibbings acknowledged that some organisations had gone "too far" in their application of health and safety regulations, but pointed out that common "myths" propagated by the press were deeply unhelpful to improving workplace security.

His comments came after research from legal practice Norton Rose revealed 88 per cent of companies felt they were able to apply health and safety legislation flexibly, while 59 per cent considered the rules to be largely reasonable.

Posted by Cameron Thomson