17/12/2014

By Lyndon Wood, Creator and Owner, www.constructaquote.com


There’s no definitive blueprint on how to nullify all business risks, but there are measures that your business can put in place to ensure that it’s financially stable should an unfortunate event beyond your control occur.

Our core focus, the construction industry, is arguably the most high-risk sector throughout the UK. Unforeseen circumstances, including property damage, third party bodily harm and employee health, could have a financially detrimental effect on your construction business, whatever it may be.

When could my company financially suffer?
Improper health and safety activity is one of the main factors when it comes to companies suffering due to unforeseen circumstances. A member of the public is likely to make a claim against your business in the event that their property is damaged whilst work is being undertaken. They are also likely to seek financial gain in the event that they suffer injury.

How could I reduce the risk of accidents?
In order to reduce the risk of accidents and injury to members of the public, or your employees, you should focus on planning, managing and monitoring the work that is undertaken on the work premises that you are responsible for.

Be sure to provide thorough health and safety training to all members of staff and employees as part of a comprehensive induction service and include primary risk evaluation including precautions in any health and safety manuals you plan to hand out. Ensure that your business site is well organised and clean; ranging from adequate sign-posting to staff facilities.

If you happen to own a business that is currently undergoing changes that require a construction site and workers, reduce any potential risks to the public by fencing off site boundaries, ensure that precautions are taken during demolition projects, regularly inspect excavations and trenches, and make sure that all workers are aware of your business’ site rules and regulations.

What if I do all this and an accident still happens?
If a member of the public, an employee or the building being worked on is injured or damaged, it is likely legal assistance will be required. Your business is most likely to suffer a financial loss if you don’t have strict measures in place prior to something happening. Your business will most probably be liable for court fees, medical costs and the legal expenses of all parties involved. Sadly, even if you win the legal battle, it’s unlikely that you will be able to reclaim your legal losses.

How can I ensure that my business is financially protected after a claim has been filed?
In order to financially protect your business against unforeseen circumstances, it might be worth considering a Public Liability insurance policy. Once a claim has been filed against you, all you need to do is contact your insurance provider. Many of the costs mentioned above may be covered meaning that your business could financially suffer very little and can subsequently focus on rebuilding its reputation.

Conclusion:
• Even though ensuring your business has adequate health and safety in place reduces risk it does not prevent accidents from happening.
• Although you may do all you can to reduce risks, it’s impossible to remain completely risk-free.
• Accidents happen and ensuring that your business is covered against all major risks can provide comprehensive peace-of-mind.
• Though a Public Liability policy is not currently a legal requirement for construction firms, many consider it a wise investment.
• If you don’t have cover in place, you will be liable for the total amount payable which could have potentially irrevocable financial effects on your business.