Landscape gardener start-ups targeted with online advice on health and safety

A website launched to explode myths around the minefield of health-and-safety law is targeting landscape gardeners and florists.

Safe Start Up is billed as a step-by-step guide to demystify regulation for people in or starting small and medium-sized companies. It says every £1 spent on health and safety leads to a saving of £16.

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), which launched the site last week, said five target areas included landscape gardeners and florists - sectors with the most business start-ups. More careers would be added.

The landscape section covers power tools, lifting and carrying and handling chemicals. One small company was fined £3,500 for not having adequate washing facilities for employees who were at risk of catching dermatitis.

On risk assessments it said the law did not expect you to remove all risks. But it did expect you to control them. "You’re probably doing most of this already as part of day-to-day management, but assessment will help you see if you’re doing enough."

Research manager Jane White said: "This walks people through the areas they need to consider. We often get the message businesses are worried about the law. The website is about making regulation friendlier for SMEs and budding entrepreneurs.

"We’ve spelt out what the requirements are and how to meet them to give business owners more confidence in keeping themselves, their employees, their customers, and anyone else who comes into contact with their company safe."

She added: "Small businesses with fewer staff find lost-time due to work-related injury and ill-health very costly, as productivity dramatically reduces. So it makes sense to get health and safety right, help their business thrive."


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