When working on building or constructions sites, most risks and hazards are relatively obvious. However one of the less obvious hazards is handling and dealing with lead.
Lead is a toxic substance that builds up in the body, posing serious health risks to those exposed to it. When you, or one of your employees, work with lead, it accumulates on your skin and clothing in the form of dust. It can be ingested or inhaled or ingested, which can damage the lungs, kidneys, nervous system, intestines and reproductive system.
There is no cure for lead poisoning, and should an employee suffer illness as a direct result of work you asked them to carry out, you could suffer a significant claim under the employers liability element of your Construction Insurance.
Whilst injury and fatality rates have decreased significantly over the last 20 years, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report that the Construction industry still accounts for 31% of all fatal injuries to employees and 10% of all reported injuries in the UK.
A common area of injury is through the use of machinery or hand tools, imagine that when striking a nail with a hammer, part of the hammer’s handle breaks off and hits an employee in the eye.
Not only could such an accident cause you to lose a valuable worker for several weeks, you could also face a claim for temporary or permanently damage to the eye leading to claims under the employers liability section of your Construction Insurance policy.
Wet surfaces present a workplace hazard, and if you are running a busy construction site, slip or trip injuries can cause serious accidents.
Water on site can come from a variety of sources, including rain, cleaning and accident spills, wet winter conditions and activities that require the use of water. Slips or Trips on wet surfaces can result in bruises, strains and sprains, lacerations, fractures, head trauma and even fatalities. Such injuries can leave you exposed to fines via the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or legal claims by employees who are injured under the Employers Liability section of your Construction Insurance policy.
When you think of a construction worker using a Jackhammer, it’s easy to assume that the most obvious insurance risk is physical damage to pipes or other property. These type of claims fall under the Public Liability section of your Construction Insurance policy. However, the wider risk is actually to the operator themselves.
Fire risks do not just plague a finished construction project — Construction sites at all stages are susceptible to fire losses and in turn, substantial claims on your Construction Insurance. At times, site conditions may be so unique or difficult that alternative designs or construction methods and materials should be considered at the outset of a project to prevent the project from being exposed to unnecessary fire risk at later stages.
When running a construction site Health and Safety and protection of both the public (Public Liability Insurance) and employees (Employers Liability Insurance) is of paramount importance. Robust risk assessments and stress testing of procedures provide vital protection in terms of minimising the risk of accidents and breach of HSE (Health and Safety Executive) regulations.
The UK Construction Industry has made huge strides and improvements to site safety over recent years and risk assessments and safety prevention is now part of core working practices.
However, a national inspection campaign by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has found that the health risk to construction workers is still not being full addressed. Not only does this put the firm at risk of prosecution, but it also significantly increases the potential of Employers Liability Insurance claims from site workers.
The say that you can never have too much of a good thing and a strange as that sounds it probably also applies to a businesses liability insurance.
We are often asked “How Much Public Liability Insurance Do I Need?” and that is not an easy question to answer, as in reality it depends directly on the maximum amount which you could ever be liable for should you be unfortunate enough to suffer a loss.
As we don’t have a crystal ball the exact level of a future claim is impossible to predict, but what we can do is examine some of the key factors which influence claims exposure.