8th December 2017
Focus – Health and Safety

Turning the spotlight on health and safety in the construction industry

Construction is often highlighted as the main industry where health and safety policies are of paramount concern. Fatalities are double that of other sectors, and figures for minor accidents are far higher than other industries.

There are many potential hazards that can lead to accidents and work-related illness. Falls from heights, working on fragile surfaces, injuries caused by heavy and repetitive tasks, the use of hazardous chemicals, exposure to carcinogens like lead and asbestos, all contribute to the annual statistics.

The business impacts of accidents and illness

An estimated 2.3 million working days are lost each year in the industry, due to workplace injury (17 per cent) and work-related illness (83 per cent). Assuming a full-time working year is approximately 225 working days, this figure equates to 10,000 full-time workers being absent from the workforce for the whole year.

In 2016-17, there were 30 fatal injuries reported in the construction industry, bringing the total number of fatalities over the last five years to 196. Almost half of these resulted from falls from a height.

Why health and safety must be at the top of the business agenda

All companies operating in this sector have a duty of care to their employees, as well as those who might be affected by a construction site and the work being carried out. The law requires certain standards are implemented, and failure to do so can result in significant fines and prosecution.

What’s more, companies who have a poor health and safety record can find that it damages their market reputation, costs them more in insurance premiums, and leads to them failing to attract high-quality staff. Accident claims can be incredibly costly.

Assessing the risks

Risk assessment has a big part to play in ensuring that the right health and safety measures are in place. It increases risk awareness, helps identify the appropriate controls that should be put in place, minimises dangers and prevents accidents. It’s also a legal requirement under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The help we can provide

Managing risk is a challenge at the best of times, but it’s even more difficult without a system in place that makes on-site assessments quickly and efficiently. That’s where we can help.

We assist brokers by providing their clients with a unique digital programme that helps them to manage risk effectively, so that they can keep their premiums and policy terms down. Developed in conjunction with our risk management partners, Cardinus, we offer policyholders our online Construction Safety Risk Audit.

 How the Construction Safety Risk Audit helps control risks and manage premiums

This digital programme enables clients to self-assess their site risk management, it’s an e-learning package that has been endorsed by the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management. It offers valuable features Including:

  • A rapid assessment of a firm’s compliance with safety law and best practice, across all key activities.
  • A score for each key risk element, giving the user an instant update that benchmarks their performance.
  • On-the-spot advice on how to tackle areas where improvement is required.
  • The basic service can be upgraded to full risk management, including advice from a professional risk manager, and site visits.

This unique online health and safety audit is available as either a stand-alone product, or as an additional benefit to those who buy Antares, Liberty, Novae or Zurich policies through Focus.

Where to get further information

We think that our Construction Safety Risk Audit represents an excellent tool that clients will really value. If you have any queries, or would like to know more about how it could be of benefit to your clients, then please contact us on 0345 345 0777.