The current charge under the HSE fee for intervention scheme for health and safety regulation breaches is £154 per hour so factoring in the inspector’s inspection and reporting time any breach identified can be costly to a business.
The upside is the HSE is still an excellent resource for health and safety knowledge and is readily available on their website. A good working knowledge of regulation is key and the HSE resource is handy to use, and is helpful and informative.
Our recent blog relating to welding fume risks has generated a lot of interest and we are aware the HSE have been active in identifying regulation breaches in this area.
Supporting a thriving business ethos
Our role in working in partnership with our clients and representation on behalf of clients to HSE is a key element of our supporting thriving business ethos. There is a natural synergy between insurance and statutory compliance. Our understanding of HSE compliance helps remedy non-compliance issues and means we are well placed to diplomatically resolve these issues being in one sense one side of the same coin.
It can be worrying to hear of confrontation with HSE inspectors who after all are in the business of protecting people. So our aim is to promote co-operation and understanding and achieve compliance as easily as possible.
Although business has made great strides since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 everyone must acknowledge there is still much to be done regards health, safety and welfare.
Accident rates still too high
Accident rates and fatalities are still unacceptably high and any plateau in the figures merely underlines the effort we must all make in finding better ways to reduce risk. Complacency in the face of serious accidents and changes and tightening in legislation is not an option as our discourse on welding fume hazards has shown.
Some areas we have worked on in recent times are included in our offering of Health and Safety Briefly training course. This is mainly aimed at shop floor supervisors and team leaders who may need awareness training. It is pitched at business where there is a low level of understanding on health and safety matters. This is usually well received and highlights the need for a team effort within any business to understand the importance and application of an effective health and safety management system.
An area of interest recently has been the ‘point at work risk assessment’ concept which stops some of those potentially hazardous impromptu tasks in their tracks and encourages thinking around the tasks and hazard identification reducing the risk of something going wrong. Understandably it is a firm favourite with insurer’s specialist liability surveyors.
Our risk manager recently stated, “There are ongoing challenges associated with the understanding and application of health and safety management systems. Application is the key word. As we see regulation changes (as in the area of welding fume hazard) we need to encourage businesses to move forward and upskill their teams utilising every possible resource”.
Caunce O’Hara are committed to the risk management needs of our clients and offer a bespoke resource. If you would like further information, please contact our Risk Manager o n 0161 833 2100.