BSI Revises UK OH&S Standard to Help SMEs


26 August 2004

As a result of recent major work-related accidents and legislation on occupational health and safety (OH&S), organisations with five or more employees must now carry out health and safety risk assessments. BSI today announced it has revised its British Standard for OH&S management – BS 8800:2004 – to assist small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with managing their OH&S risks.

Protecting employees’ health and safety is extremely important for all industry sectors in not only ensuring the welfare of workers but also protecting a business’ reputation. Considering the following statistics there is a great deal of room for improvement.

250 people a year die in the UK due to accidents at work
6,000 die from cancer related deaths caused by occupational exposure
156,000 non-fatal accidents are reported at work each year
2.3 million suffer from ill health caused or made worse by work
Since the standard BS 8800 was last published, the law on health and safety at work has changed. If an organisation has five or more employees, it must carry out health and safety risk assessments and document findings (as stated in The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999). BS 8800:2004 contains improved guidance on risk assessment and risk management which will help organisations to meet their legal obligations. The revision of this British Standard also reflects national and international OH&S issues which have arisen since publication of BS 8800:1996.

Written with the help of industry safety practitioners and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), this British Standard will help organisations develop a framework for managing OH&S so employees and others, whose health and safety might be affected by the organisation ’s activities, are adequately protected. The standard now contains twice as much essential information than before and will help reduce the risk to employees from injury.

The newly revised standard also contains new annexes giving guidance on promoting an effective OH&S management system, as well as information on hazardous event investigation.

Mike Low, Director, British Standards says: "Following its update, BS 8800 will provide a number of key benefits to SMEs. Firstly it will help reduce risk to employees and others by developing good working practices to prevent accidents and work-related ill health. Business performance will improve through saved costs and better productivity and it will help create a positive and responsible reputation".

For more information on BS 8800:2004 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems. Guide go to To order a copy contact BSI Customer Services on +44 (0)20 8996 9001 or email quoting marketing reference 8800-PR when ordering.

BS 8800:2004 is priced at £126 or £63 for BSI Subscribing Members – ISBN 0 580 43987 9


For more information please contact:

Wilma Tulloch on +44 (0)20 8996 6330 OR
Marc Edney on +44 (0)20 8996 6330