Members of the public who have slipped, tripped or fallen on commercial premises generate more claims for compensation than any other type of accident, and the cost to small businesses can run into the thousands, even millions in some of the more extreme cases.
The mantra ‘where there’s blame, there’s a claim’ tends to ring true more and more often nowadays – and all companies welcoming customers to their premises need to ensure they have appropriate protective measures in place – as well as the correct level of insurance cover.
It’s also important for businesses to consider the safety of their employees as well as their customers, as slips and trips account for 20% of all injuries that result in employee absences of over three days, and over a third of all reported major injuries (Source: HSE website 2009, www.hse.gov.uk). Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers are obliged to ensure their employees are kept safe from harm during the course of their working day.
There are some important issues that each business should consider to help it assess whether it is vulnerable to a compensation claim. These include:
- Access to premises – is it well lit and in good condition?
- Tripping hazards – are hazards such as trailing cables routed away from walkways or access points?
- Interior floor services – are they non-slip and in good condition?
- Employee awareness – do your employees know what to do if anything is spilled or dropped?
The chartered insurance professionals at Hine can offer businesses in a wide range of sectors the insight they need to properly assess their risks and can also suggest additional measures that could reduce their risk – and perhaps even their premium.
We can then tailor an insurance solution to help protect you from claims arising from those unexpected accidents, which are often the most extreme and financially significant.
Be extra vigilant with unusual trading conditions
Businesses need to be especially careful when carrying out building maintenance or when employing subcontractors. If possible, it is advisable to carry out this type of work when your business premises aren’t open to the public, or at the very least keep the public away from the area where work is being carried out.
It is important to ensure that all people working on the project are fully competent, and if you are using subcontractors, ensure they have adequate insurance.
Talk to the trusted advisors at Hine
Having a trusted advisor on hand to ensure your liabilities are adequately covered can be worth its weight in gold. The chartered insurance brokers at Hine can help check your current cover to ensure it is adequate. They can also offer advice on measures to take if the worst happens and an accident occurs. Sometimes, sending a small token such as a bunch of flowers or voucher to the injured party is often all it takes to stop an incident escalating further.
Remember a common sense approach to hazard prevention, coupled with sound insurance advice, will help keep your business on a firm footing.
To discuss liability insurance with the brokers at Hine, call 0161 438 0000, or visit www.hine.uk