Business insurance premiums are rising faster than ever. Rules for calculating compensation have doubled the amounts.
A garden centre with a restaurant has twice the concerns with both Health and Safety and Food Hygiene (H&S).
GCR speaks with Stan Ratcliffe of Health and Safety Assurance Services to find out more.
Ray Johnson, founder of commercial specialists ISS and creator of Insure Green Folkestone, has this to say:
“Compensation claims following damages through breaches of H&S legislation are at their highest rates ever.
“Increasing premiums will not be enough. We have to find ways of obtaining the evidence to build a strong defence against culpability.”
Monitoring criminal and civil breaches of H&S finds clear failures. Not meeting legal obligation to revise and update Risk Assessments and Staff Training. Forgetting to act to prevent hazards. Not keeping records that are evidence in defence.
Review and revision cannot happen unless there is a feedback system to provide records.
In these cases, the defence has the onus of proving their innocence.
Record hazards to control insurance
Records about the way the business notes down hazards and takes preventative action will help spread the culpability.
With ‘no win no fee’ lawyers, the alleged victim has much on their side. What have you and your insurer got to fight back with?
Defence relies upon evidence and the strongest comes from records. Without records you have little evidence and thus not much defence.
A company that kept meticulous training and supervisory records was able to show evidence that the death of an employee was due to his avoiding the safety rules. This reduced the compensation by 90% as he contributed to the incident.
It takes little effort, time or money to create a suitable recording system and to make the entries. Half an hour a week noting the hazards observed and how you prevented them becoming incidents.
This is better than a ‘near miss’ system because you stop the hazard before anything happens.
Both Jacqui Brown, MD of HSAS, and Ray Johnson feel that feedback systems with regular reports should be standard.
H&S audits tend to concentrate on the plans and the results of regular inspections. Feedback and comparison of intensions with actuality is a gap.
In car insurance, they have black box telemetry. It provides insurers with 24/7 monitoring to show how the driver copes.
It’s time the Garden Centre industry took the initiative and installed feedback systems. It will fend off any steep rises in premiums. Insurers consider your centre a high risk. If we don’t then we have only ourselves to blame for escalating insurance costs.