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EU Health and Safety Strategy

The Issue

The European Commission has adopted a new strategic framework for health and safety at work, which will run until 2020. 

A healthy workforce is critical to the success of a small business and our members take their responsibilities very seriously.

We want any future health and safety strategy to be kept as simple as possible, so small firms know what’s required of them and how best to comply.

Action FSB have taken

  • We’ve lobbied for the Health and Safety Strategy to be designed with the knowledge that it takes more time and resources for small businesses to conform to changes.
  • We called for small firms to be exempted from writing down risk assessments after they’ve been carried out. This would potentially save businesses €2.7 billion.

Our Goal

We called for a balanced approach to the introduction of changes to the Health and Safety Strategy in the EU. Small firms need a healthy workforce to operate. Rather than a blanket approach to future regulation changes, we call for policymakers to ‘Think Small First’.

This will assess the impact of changes on small businesses and avoid over burdening them and our members with unnecessary red tape. Small businesses operating within a tightly regulated domestic market may be at risk of being undercut by firms operating out of a different EU member state, with less rigorous rules. Minimum standards can play an important role in avoiding this situation.

Achievements in...



  • We’ve been successful in lobbying for a small and micro business test as an integral part of every European Commission impact assessment
  • We’ve submitted evidence to the European Commission as part of their review of the EU’s Health and Safety framework.
  • FSB welcomes the objective in the EU’s strategic framework for health and safety at work to improve the implementation record of those member states who are lagging behind. The UK has a very good health and safety record. We want information on how each member state has implemented changes and is enforcing regulations, as this will stop small firms that comply being put at a competitive disadvantage
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FSB members with a serious health condition have free access to a personal nurse adviser - providing practical information and emotional support.

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