More than a third (38%) of people working for a small business feel unsafe in the workplace due to a lack of training.

The research, carried out by online training provider learndirect business, also found that of those who did receive training, only half felt it had helped them work more safely.

The report also showed that 42% of people working for a small business had received no formal training in the past 12 months. Of the staff that did received regular training, 83% felt it made them more effective in their job.

Michelle Lofthouse, director of business development at Ufi, the company behind learndirect business, said: "Companies that don't train their staff run risks at work, not only in employee safety but also in increased operating costs, reduced productivity and poor customer service. We'd like to switch employers on to the benefits of e-learning as a way of improving their employees' skills in a time efficient and cost effective manner."

Costcutter retailer Appean Sharma runs a busy store in Eltham, South London. Training is high on his business agenda. He said: "The biggest problem is that in retail many staff members don't have a proper job description. When staff join us I make sure they are properly trained and they have a checklist and handbook to help them. I send them on a number of training courses and they can also do a St John's Ambulance first-aid course. I would consider online courses to help myself and my staff because it's important to be versatile."