Volunteering England is launching a study into whether a climate of fear among charities is leading to the loss of important volunteering opportunities.
"Volunteering England has become concerned by a drift among some voluntary organisations towards fear-based policies," said Justin Davis-Smith, deputy chief executive of Volunteering England.
"The perceived threat of the compensation culture and excessive risk-averseness has manifested itself in the closing down of some hugely valuable volunteering opportunities."
The launch of the study follows the publication this week of Get a Life, a report by the Health and Safety Commission.
It urges organisations to focus on "real" risks rather than worry about "trivial risk and petty health and safety issues".
The results of the Volunteering England study will be published later this year.