Phoenix STS Ltd give advice on safety management and insurance savings.
With any business, irrespective of size, operational costs are always an ongoing area where companies try to maximise savings. Insurance costs are one of the areas where significant savings can be made by shopping around.
The first question to consider is, what is most important, savings or the level of cover offered? I would suggest a combination of both in most cases. The next important point is that before you have an insurance policy, you sign a contract with the insurance provider. This contract sets out the terms and conditions of cover, and the conditions that are in place should you require to claim on the policy. Conditions apply to all insurance policies; employers liability, public liability, product liability, professional indemnity etc.
What is my duty of care to the management of health and safety, and how can we demonstrate we have shown due diligence?
We achieve this through our Safety Management System. This outlines our policies, objectives, plans, procedures, organisation, responsibilities and any other measures to safeguard the workplace.
The Safety Management System must be supported by a Safety Policy Statement. The Safety Policy Statement shows that the company intends to provide a safe and healthy environment in which our employees, visitors and customers can carry out their business. Any other company policies and procedures must support and comply with the Safety Policy Statement. To have a safe workplace, there must be in place the conditions to protect any person that may be affected by work activities from harm or other non-desirable outcomes.
Safety management can also refer to the control of recognised hazards to achieve an acceptable level of risk. A key element to any Safety Management System is having an up-to-date safety statement that truly reflects the risks associated with the work activities and the control measures that have been put in place to manage these risks on an ongoing basis.
What is a safety statement?
A safety statement is the name given to the document that outlines how your company manages health and safety. Based upon the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, the safety statement is required by law under Section 20 of the Act. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure it is fit for the organisation under his/her control.
Who can prepare a safety statement?
As an employer, you must appoint someone competent to help you meet your health and safety duties. A competent person must possess sufficient training, experience and knowledge appropriate to the nature of the work they are undertaking.
The above documents form the basis of how health and safety is managed within your company. The insurance provider will offer cover based on your declaration that all the above is in place and correct. Should it become necessary to claim on your policy, these documents will be used by the insurance provider to verify you have shown due diligence and done everything reasonably practical to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Where this is not the case, the insurance provider can now demonstrate a breach of contract, which may result in your claim not been successful.
By Paddy McDonnell, CEO, Phoenix STS Ltd
Find out more about safety management and procedures here.