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If you are an employer, a self-employed person or are in control of your workplace premises, you are required by law to report certain workplace incidents. These include occupational diseases, specified dangerous occurrences (near misses) and acts of non-consensual violence to people at work.

Man-with-sling-filling-out-health-and-safety-formWhat is RIDDOR
The initials RIDDOR stand for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

Accidents must be reported online using the relevant form for the type of incident you are reporting. For fatal accidents or accidents resulting is specified injuries to workers only, you can call 0345 300 9923.

A report form must be sent within 10 days of the accident occurring or if the accident results in an employee being unable to work for 7 days or more, within 15 days of the incident.

Occupational diseases such as exposure to carcinogens, mutagens or biological agents must be notified to HSE (Health and Safety Executive) as soon as a diagnosis is made.

It is a criminal offence if the person responsible for reporting these accidents fails to notify HSE. If found guilty they could face an unlimited fine.

There have been some recent changes to the HSE suite of RIDDOR forms. The main change affecting reporters is that a copy of the form will no longer be automatically sent back to the notifier; they will have to download a PDF copy themselves. To maintain a record of what was reported, users must remember to download the PDF, otherwise they will not have a record of what they reported.

Insurance cover and premiums
Your insurance policies will cover you for:
  • Accidents involving vehicles.
  • Third-party accidents (usually) included on your building’s insurance.
  • Employers liability insurance for injuries and ill health to your employees whilst at work. This is compulsory.
If you have a poor health and safety record and are making multiple claims against your insurance policies, this will lead to an increase in premiums. Some providers may even refuse to offer insurance cover.

However, a good management system with documented training records and risk assessments will help reduce insurance premiums by demonstrating your commitment to health and safety and minimising the risks to your employees.

CLA (Risk Solutions) has teamed up with Safety2Business who have developed an online portal “Health and Safety Assist” to provide you with a raft of resources to help you manage your safety documentation.

With the knowledge that your business is using this platform to manage your health and safety risks and reduce the cause of accidents, CLA can source the most competitive quote for your insurance renewal.

For a complete breakdown of what the portal can offer visit the Health and Safety Assist page on our website www.clarisksolutions.co.uk/health-and-safety-assist

Areas that may not be covered by insurance
Your employers liability insurance will cover injury as a result of an accident or illness to your employees; however, there are some costs related to an incident that may not be covered:
  • Sick pay.
  • Replacement labour costs.
  • Delays to production.
  • Fines.
  • Loss of business.
  • Insurance investigation costs.
  • Legal costs.
There is additional insurance that you can take out to cover some of the above if you believe these risks could cause long term damage your business. For more information call 0121 321 4600 and speak to one of our team.
If you or your business is found to be in material breach of health and safety law, you will have to pay for the time it takes the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to identify the breach and help you put things right. This includes investigating and taking enforcement action and is called ‘Fee For Intervention’ (FFI).

HSE_Intervention_FeeIf it transpires that you have not broken the law, then you won’t pay anything. Dutyholders who comply with the law, or where there is no material breach, will not be charged FFI for any work that HSE does with them.

FFI applies to dutyholders where the HSE is the enforcing authority. This will include:
employers
  • self-employed who put others at risk
  • public and limited companies
  • general, limited and limited liability partnerships
  • Crown and public bodies
What the law says
The Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations 2016, link to external website say that a fee is payable to HSE if:
  • a person is contravening or has contravened health and safety laws; and
  • an inspector is of the opinion that the person is or has done so, and notifies the person in writing of that opinion.
What is a material breach?
A material breach is something which an inspector considers serious enough that they need to formally write to the business requiring action to be taken to deal with the material breach. If the inspector gives you a notification of contravention (NoC) after their visit, you’ll have to pay a fee.
The NoC must include:
  • the law that the inspector considers has been broken
  • the reason(s) for their opinion
  • notification that a fee is payable to HSE
Where an inspector simply gives you advice, either verbal or written, you won’t have to pay anything for this advice.

How much it costs
It currently costs £129 an hour. The fee will include the costs covering the time of the entire original visit. The total amount recovered will be based on the amount of time it takes HSE to identify the breach and help you put things right (including associated office work), multiplied by the hourly rate.
Your fee may include the inspector’s time:
  • at your business or workplace
  • preparing reports
  • getting specialist advice
  • talking to you after the visit
  • talking to your workers
The fee can vary depending on:
  • how long the original visit was
  • the time the inspector spent helping you put things right
  • the time it took the inspector to investigate your case
  • any time we spend on taking action against you
Find out more
The Guidance on the application of Fee for Intervention (FFI) document (also available in Welsh) sets out the general principles and approach of the scheme. It includes examples of material breaches but does not cover every scenario where FFI might apply.

Inspectors will apply this guidance and their enforcement decisions will be based on the principles of HSE’s enforcement decision-making frameworks – the Enforcement Management Model (EMM) and the Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS).

The Guidance on the application of Fee for Intervention (FFI) document (also available in Welsh) sets out the general principles and approach of the scheme. It includes examples of material breaches but does not cover every scenario where FFI might apply.

Some Management Liability or Directors and Officers insurance products provide cover to protect against FFI.

If you would like to discuss your own Management Liability Insurance or D&O policy then please contact us on 0121 321 4600 or send an email to info@clarisksolutions.co.uk
If an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of the work they do for you, they can claim compensation from you.

Meeting your health and safety duties is easier than you think. Providing you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees (and the injury or illness was caused after 1 October 2013), you shouldn’t have to pay compensation. However, if a court finds you are liable, employers’ liability insurance will help you to pay any compensation for your employees’ injuries or illness.

Though there were fewer prosecutions taken in 2016/17, the statistics show an increase in fines to £69.9 million from the 2015/16 total of £38.8 million. New sentencing guidelines in England and Wales were introduced in 2016. Twenty large fines accounted for £30.7 million of the new figure.

Key figures for Great Britain (2016/17)
  • 1.3 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
  • 2,542 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2015)
  • 137 workers killed at work
  • 609,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 70,116 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 31.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £14.9 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2015/16)
Above taken from http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/ and http://press.hse.gov.uk/2017/britains-annual-injury-and-ill-health-statistics-released/

How insurance premiums are calculated
Your insurance premium is calculated by insurers by assessing the risks associated with the type of work being carried out. For example, if you employ mainly office based personnel, your premiums will be lower than for manual workers because the risks are generally lower.

Other factors include type of industry, previous claims history, number of employees and factors that may improve your risks such as management systems you have in place.

Generally, your employer’s liability insurance will cover you against compensation for injury, disease, damage or death together with any related financial losses incurred by the claimant. It will also reimburse the Department for Work and Pensions for any benefits paid out during the claim.

Liability_Insurance_for_health_and_safety_proceduresHow to reduce your employers’ liability insurance premium

Providing you can demonstrate that you have an effective Occupational Health and Safety management system in place, insurers can usually reduce your premiums. An effective management system will help to minimise the risk of injuries and diseases and the risk of a successful claim being made against your organisation.

You may need the support of an external consultant if you do not employ your own health and safety personnel.

CLA have partnered with Health and Safety Assist to provide access to your own safety management hub and expert advice via an online portal. This will help you to manage your entire health and safety processes, action plans and audit trails with documentation all in one place.

Join Health and Safety Assist to improve your health and safety management and reduce your insurance premiums.

For more information visit our web page http://www.clarisksolutions.co.uk/health-and-safety-assist or call one of our account managers.

 
Despite feeling the strain from the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the UK construction industry is continuing to grow. However, with the impact of Brexit, we could see a speed towards offsite construction and robotics. We look at how this is this going to affect the insurance requirements of companies in this sector.

With uncertainty arising as a result of Brexit and a shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry, firms have begun to innovate, turning towards technological advances such as offsite construction and the use of drones onsite. CLA are well aware that with ever-changing and developing technology in this sector, the associated risks will also evolve alongside these advances. As construction industry insurance specialists, we are well placed to advise our clients on the implications this new technology will have on their insurance requirements.

Setting aside these new evolving risks, the construction industry continues to operate within high-risk environments. The risks are myriad: working onsite, working at height, working in different environments each day, working under different supervision and direction and injury can be easy to come about. In 2016 3% of workers sustained a work-related injury which contributed to 2.2 million days off that year (Health and Safety Executive report).

Furthermore, those in the industry are often working on third-party sites and in premises where they are exposed to third-parties and their property. Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement and most businesses will be aware of this, but they might not fully understand their potential exposure from injuring a third party or damaging their property when working on a private dwelling house or a shop. This is particularly common for smaller businesses.

The other area of risk, highlighted in our previous article, is the fact that your insurance will not cover the cost of an HSE investigation or subsequent fine. www.clarisksolutions.co.uk/2017/12/05/hauliers-and-construction-companies-ignore-health-and-safety-risks-at-their-peril

It’s a niche and complex area. You need specialist underwriters and specialist risk managers that are up to date with the industry and understand the pace and speed of change.

Drone_over_building_siteRobotics
Machine rather than man will be constructing the buildings of tomorrow, with robots taking on the manual tasks, driverless bulldozers and diggers supporting them and drones flying overhead to monitor progress and carry out site inspections.

It may sound a bit sci-fi but these forms of technology are already being used on many building sites. For instance, in its Global Construction Survey 2016, 42% of respondents said they used drones to monitor construction status.

Whilst the commercial benefits of drones are clear, there are still concerns around mid-air collisions or loss of control, plus the potential for refusal of third party claims involving drones operated by, or on behalf of an insured business. *

Adoption of these technologies in the construction sector has a number of advantages. As well as helping to address the skills shortage by removing the risk of human error, it will also reduce the number of worksite accidents.

Source: KPMG, Global Construction Survey 2016, Building a technology advantage 1

* CLA can provide drone insurance as part of our Aviation and Aerospace product suite.

We can also provide the following support for the construction industry to help keep you fully covered during this period of growth:
  • One-call access to expert advice: Delivered by specialist construction risk control surveyors and our provider’s in-house inspection engineers team.
  • Flexibility: Our experts in London, Manchester or Birmingham can offer 24 separate covers under one module policy.
  • Specialist construction claims service: Expert engineering, property and casualty claims teams and expert construction loss adjusters will oversee construction claims.
  • Legal services: Offering more ways to manage costs through legal risk and compliance solutions, with a specific focus on HSE legislation.
Health_and_SafetyTwo recent cases of accidents in the workplace resulting in court cases being brought against companies and directors by the Health and Safety Executive highlights the increased risks to employees in these sectors.

The cases below are just two examples of the many court cases and fines imposed on companies in breach of health and safety regulations.

The first case involved an HGV driver who suffered fatal injuries while coupling the HGV tractor unit to a trailer.

**Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Jessica Churchyard said “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man, and was caused in part by the failure of his employer to implement and monitor safe systems of work to prevent vehicle runaways.
“This death could have easily been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and followed the industry guidance.”


The second case resulted in the amputation of a demolition worker’s left arm and right hand.

**HSE inspector Rohan Lye said after the hearing: “If the company and its director had taken basic steps to decide how to do this routine task, and what control measures to use, they could have prevented this devastating incident resulting in an employee suffering life-changing injuries.”

In the first case involving the HGV driver, the company was fined £170,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,268.80.

In the second case, the company was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,523.04. In addition, the company director was sentenced to ten months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Insured risk
In both cases the companies would have had to pick up the fines. Your Employers’ Liability insurance policy will generally (depending on your policy wording) cover you for:
  • Employee compensation
  • Employee and criminal proceedings defence costs
  • Court attendance compensation
Even if you have Directors and Officers insurance as well, neither will cover the cost of an HSE investigation or resulting fines or time in prison.

How to minimise your risk of prosecution
As the two quotes above from HSE inspectors imply, both incidents could have been prevented if the employer had implemented effective risk management and approved codes of practice.

To protect your business, you will need to manage your safety documentation, training records and risk assessments etc. Every business has most of this in place but very few can easily and quickly put their hands on it and rely on it being up to date.

Our partnership with health and safety specialists “Health and Safety Assist” can help you with this.
Their online portal is a secure resource and provides access to your own safety management hub. The portal will help you simplify and efficiently manage all of the documents necessary to meet your health and safety responsibilities and comply with the relevant standards for your business sector.

There are also a host of added benefits that you can exploit as the portal becomes more bespoke to your business. It could lead to reduced insurance premiums by demonstrating you have proper management of your workplace risks and compliance with health and safety legislation.

To find out more about how working with Health and Safety Assist can save you money, protect you from prosecution and a hefty fine or prison sentence, please contact one of our team.

**Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0