This paper discusses the capability of small firms to comply with legislative demands on risk assessment. The results of a national survey show that only a minor fraction of small firms comply. Two case studies demonstrate that small firms are able to meet the demands. An analysis of these cases leads to some hypotheses on the preconditions for compliance. Many firms need a person to mediate legislative demands. The demands for qualifications to fulfil this role are discussed. The conclusion is that it is possible to qualify persons as mediators. Therefore, to stimulate ergonomic activities in small firms resources for such mediators are required. The occupational health services are able to train a staff to undertake the task.