Small businesses are spending almost two days a month struggling to tackle health and safety issues, a new survey has revealed.

Of the 150 firms questioned, small businesses were found to spend an average 14 hours per month dealing with health and safety, highlighting a massive impact to the daily running of a small company.

The research, published by the Forum of Private Business, found 56% complained health and safety red tape was time-consuming, giving rise to growing industry fears that companies will struggle to meet their obligations under the ever-growing weight of legislation.

An alarming 60% of businesses agreed that the time spent was disproportionate to the benefits gained.