Health & Safety Evidence Matters

The rise of corporate manslaughter prosecutions, increased scrutiny of the actions of directors and officers and the introduction of Fee for Intervention has brought health and safety issues sharply into focus.

Health and Safety Executive statistics show a 40% reduction in workplace injuries from 2000-2001 compared to 2013-14 however the number of enforcement notices issued by the HSE has not significantly reduced, with criminal prosecutions and convictions increasing by 18% in 2014-15  compared to 2010-11.

Businesses should consider whether they are doing all they can to evidence the actions they have taken to address potential health and safety hazards. The following actions could help you protect your  business against costly claims:

  • Good Record-keeping

It is imperative that construction companies keep detailed and accurate records to ensure that in the event of a claim you can produce evidence of your risk prevention measures. Without such evidence, your insurers will not be able to defend claims or prosecutions on your behalf, so accurate records can help you successfully defend against claims and prosecutions. The type of records kept will be determined by the type of work you undertake, and the size of your business. Regardless, all records
should include names, date and signatures, and as much relevant information as possible relating to the work in question, and the precautions that have been put in place.

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For example if you train your staff on the use of new plant, this should be recorded with the name of the employees, date of training, details of the training involved and signatures from both the trainer and  trainee. A clear audit trail can help you to track your companies’ health and safety performance and  mprove procedures accordingly.

  • Be proactive: Exceed the legal requirements

Going beyond the minimum in terms of health and safety could not only reduce accidents and injuries (which in turn will help minimise your insurance overheads), but could also help your organisation gain  accreditations and tender successfully for contracts. A proactive health and safety policy can help  businesses prove that they take health and safety seriously.

To summarise, good record keeping can help construction firms

1. Improve Claims Defensibility
2. Provide Safer Workplaces
3. Successfully tender for contracts

How can Mitchell Charlesworth Insurance Solutions help?
Mitchell Charlesworth Insurance Solutions can help your business ensure that you have appropriate health and safety precautions in place. We are now able to offer a risk management service which can be built to suit your businesses needs.

For more information please contact Richard Gorst or Carrie Arnold on 0151 423 7500.

Statistics provided are drawn from HSE official website.

Registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for investment business