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Asbestos_insuranceIf you are a consultant, surveyor or contractor working in the asbestos removal industry, you will need a range of insurance to protect your business from the risks involved with handling the material.

If you have been working in the industry for some time, you will be aware of your insurance requirements and of the different policies available to you.

You have probably found that with some policies you must declare the number of contracts you expect to carry out in a year.  On an adjustable policy, this could lead to additional insurance costs at the end of the year if you go over the specified number or value.

CLA (Risk Solutions) contract works insurance
Our specialist asbestos contractors’ insurance is available as a non-declaration fixed policy. You can work on any number of jobs throughout the year and not declare them on your policy, so you know exactly what your insurance premium will be without any surprise costs at the year-end.

Furthermore, if your current insurer is asking you for an additional premium to cover your previous 12 month’s contracts/work, we may be able to cover some of these costs within your new policy when you transfer to us.

We can provide all the other insurance cover you are likely to need such as:
  • Employers liability insurance
  • Public liability insurance
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Legal expenses
Our broking team can source the most suitable and cost-effective insurance products for your business, so you will have all the advice and support you need under one roof to give you the best protection.

The hidden dangers of asbestos
It is a well-known fact that exposure to asbestos is harmful to health. Even low exposure can risk lung damage resulting in cancer or asbestosis, sometimes up to 10 to 20 years later.

Due to the nature of the product, the fibres are only released when the material is disturbed. Asbestos was a popular building product in homes, schools, factories and other premises built before the year 2000. Therefore, contractors working in the building industry are particularly vulnerable when working on properties found to have asbestos used in their construction.

The fibres are invisible to the human eye and, if released into the air, are breathed into the lungs causing long-term damage.

A specialist contractor, licensed or un-licensed (depending on the work involved), can deal with the problems of removing, cleaning up and disposing of asbestos safely.

Asbestos removal contractors, inspectors and analysts offer a professional service to businesses, local authorities and householders to assess and deal with the material when it is discovered. You can find out more on the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association website.
ISS_8967_01846A Corby recycling firm have been fined and its director given a suspended jail sentence for endangering workers after allowing them to operate fork lift trucks without proper training and then ignoring a notice requiring urgent action to address the safety failing.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday that despite an Improvement Notice being served by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) against BB Recycling on 29 November 2011, the necessary training was continually overlooked even after a deadline to comply was extended until 28 February 2012.

The company and director Russell Wayne Armer were also found to have no employer’s liability insurance, which is compulsory for all employers.

BB Recycling, of Pilot Road, Corby, was fined a total of £300 and ordered to pay £340 in costs after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998,  the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

Director Russell Wayne Armer, of, Furlong Street , Desborough, Northamptonshire, also pleaded guilty to the same three breaches.  He was given a fourth month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80. The court have also applied to disqualify Mr Armer from acting as a company director, managing or in any way controlling a company for at least five years.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Roger Amery said:

“Employees were placed in unnecessary danger, but thankfully the situation was resolved before any one was injured.

“The requirement to train fork lift operators is long established across all industries so there is no excuse for this company and its director to blatantly ignore what was required as well as a notice that explicitly called for remedial action.

“Possessing valid employers’ liability insurance, meanwhile, is mandatory for all businesses. So I doubt that many employers will have much sympathy for a firm that was operating without this.”

Information about working safely with forklift trucks, including the need for training, can be found on the HSE web site at www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport

Call us for more information about employers’ liability insurance.

‘Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0’.
Pollution

The subject of environmental impairment liability has risen up the corporate agenda in recent years, following the European Environmental Liability Directive in 2009 and the arrival of the Environmental Civil Sanction Order in 2011.

Recent research reveals that around a quarter of businesses feel that EIL has no relevance to them. Many companies mistakenly believe that environmental issues stem primarily from sudden and catastrophic accidents, and only in the high-risk industry sectors such as utilities or chemicals require such cover.

However, businesses across the spectrum - from car dealerships, to hotels, schools, property developers and financial services firms - may find that something more routine such as a long-term leak can lead to a gradual polluting of the environment, which can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to remedy.

A recent incident involving a producer of pastry products was left facing costs of £800,000 after equipment failure led to the release of cream into a river. This resulted in a biochemical oxygen demand greater than that for untreated sewage, causing significant damage to flora and fauna.

Confusion amongst different policies can leave your business at risk especially where there is a belief that general liability products provide sufficient cover against environmental exposures. With a wide range of liabilities, it is important for businesses to understand where coverage on different policies stop and start, and the potential costs.

Business top tips
  • Check for any historical exposures that your business may be liable for
  • If your business is situated in a highly industrialised area, you may unwittingly own land or buildings on what previously was an industrial site that is now contaminated.
If you would like to discuss the option and potential risks to your business please contact us on:
t 0121 3214600
e info@clarisksolutions.co.uk
A landmark ruling by the UK’s highest court will pave the way for thousands of insurance claims to be bought to the relatives of workers who died after being exposed to asbestos.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, asbestos is responsible for an estimated 4000 deaths each year and is the single greatest cause of work related deaths in the UK.

The Supreme Court last month ruled insurance liability begins when an employee is first exposed to asbestos.

The battle centred on the obligations of a small group of insurance companies providing employer’s liability insurance. The decision can be welcomed by businesses as it reinforces that English law will give a common sense and business like interpretation to insurance contracts and not be a slave to semantics or dictionary definition.

Business top tips
  • Check there is continuity in your liability cover, it could prove invaluable.

If you would like to learn more about how to protect your business from such claims, please contact us on:
t 0121 3214600
e info@clarisksolutions.co.uk