Managing risk and safety from the top down
Running a business within the construction industry can be challenging. The pressures of time, competition, escalating costs and other factors, can often lead to safety taking a back seat, sometimes with fatal consequences.
Under the Corporate Manslaughter Act, accidents can be very expensive if your company is prosecuted and convicted after a death; not to mention the possible custodial sentences for the guilty directors or managers.
The most successful companies are those who manage safety and security properly, and that means from the top down. Equally important is the process through which contractors are selected and managed. You must be satisfied that their safety standards are to an acceptable level and are being maintained as such.
Employees also have an important role to play in ensuring their own and others’ safety; however they need to believe that their employers are serious about safety standards and are not merely paying lip service in order to satisfy legal obligations.
Your safety policy should clearly state who has responsibility for assessing, eliminating and reducing risks; informing and training employees; providing correct equipment and ensuring procedures are in place, followed through and recorded.
Only people who are competent to undertake certain tasks should be asked to do so and they should be provided with the necessary information, training and equipment in order to operate in accordance with a safe system of work. It is human nature to cut corners in order to save time – don’t let your business suffer because of someone’s laziness.
Most of the time and effort needed to put a suitable risk management regime into place is at the start. It can seem daunting but remember that for our policyholders, help from specialists is only a phone call away. If you would like our help in improving your safety management procedures, then please ask your insurance advisor to contact us. To start you on the road to a better system of risk management, the following list includes some of the basic points which need to be covered:
- Ensure that your business has suitable policies covering health and safety, the environment and security
- Ensure that everyone with responsibilities relating to security, fire safety, environmental issues (including waste management) and health and safety are aware of them, understand them and are competent to undertake them. Also ensure they have received adequate training and have the time and resource to allow them to do everything that is necessary
- Ensure that all aspects of health and safety (including fire safety) and risk management procedures are regularly monitored and reviewed by management to ensure that they are kept up-to date. This should be supported by audits and inspections with a “follow-up” system to ensure that actions needed are actually being carried out and maintained
- Ensure that people are only required to undertake tasks that they are trained to do and for which they have received all of the information needed for them to keep up-to-date and work safely
- Ensure that a suitable system is in place to review and learn from accidents, thefts or other security breaches, fire or other similar incidents and also from safety or security concerns raised by employees.
To find out how CCS Insurance can help your business, call us on – 01483 726777.