Compile Consulting

Is there too much Health & Safety in the UK - 91% said yes, then changed their mind

Press Release   •   Jul 09, 2012 10:57 BST

We recently asked a group of employees this question : "Do you think there is too much Health and Safety in the UK?" - the results were illuminating.


Question :
I think there is too much Health and Safety in the UK   91%


I think it is about right             9%


I think there is too little Health and Safety in the UK     0  %
I don't know                 0%

We think that given nearly all media coverage of workplace Health and Safety in the Press, on TV and Ministerial Press Statements has been negative about Health and Safety the above results are not as surprising as many would feel.

Yet when we discussed things further with group many had completely different attitudes towards other types of Safety provision. Road Safety, First Aid, Airline Safety and Fire Safety were all considered as more important than workplace safety.

Why was this? - could the successful Safety Campaigns have something to do with it? - When the group was asked to recall past safety campaigns - not one Workplace Safety campaign was recollected from the past 40 years , while many could recall Road Safety campaigns such as Clunk Click, the Green Cross Code Man, Speed Kills, Don't Drink and Drive from as far back as 1971.

The Health and Safety Executive has not spent a significant part of it's budget on Television Advertising to run a Workplace Safety campaign to underline the importance of workplace safety and why safety law exists.

In other countries, such as Canada and the United States they do make and screen TV ads in campaigns supporting health and safety with great effect.

We showed the group 1 advert from the US and 1 from Canada and asked the same question

Question :
I think there is too much Health and Safety in the UK    0%


I think it is about right    91%
I think there is too little Health and Safety in the UK     9%     
I don't know       0%

A dramatic difference and a 100% change of attitude about Health and Safety in the UK.

Admittedly this was 1 small training group of a dozen people and not a statistically valid sample of 1001 people yet we think we might be onto something. The absence of TV workplace safety campaigns in the UK has created an information vacuum which has been filled with negative reporting in stark contrast to successful long run campaigns and Government information films in support of other safety issues such as Road Safety, Child Safety, First Aid and Fire Safety,

In conjunction with our training partners we deliver or can offer a wide range of health and safety courses and qualifications.