If you have a workplace to maintain then lets consider how to look after ourselves, our staff, and ANYONE who visits our site. Of course that could include the Police if you call them to attend a crime. This is currently in the news as a Policewoman makes a claim for damages after tripping over a curb on a garage site during an investigation. From the point of view of a workplace Manager, this is not good news, and now would be a good time to make sure we have all the required Insurance and Policies in place that are required of us.
I will share with you what I know and have found useful for our business:
Insurance: Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969
Most employers are required by the law to insure against liability for injury or disease to their employees arising out of their employment.
What is Employers’ Liability Insurance? Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees while they are at work. Your employees may be injured at work or they, or your former employees, may become ill as a result of their work while in your employment. They might try to claim compensation from you if they believe you are responsible. The Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 ensures that you have at least a minimum level of insurance cover against any such claims. You can be fined if you do not hold a current employers’ liability insurance policy which complies with the law. You must be insured for at least £5 million but you need to assess your risk and take out appropriate cover.
When you take out or renew a policy, your insurer will give you a Certificate of Employers’ Liability Insurance. This must state clearly the minimum level of cover provided and the companies covered by the policy. You must display a copy of the certificate of insurance where your employees can easily read it.
As always HSE are a mine of information and the HSE leaflet HSE40(rev4) is helpful.
A very good and simple article with background information is available on the HSE website http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse40.pdf
Public Liability Insurance is different. It covers you for claims made against you by members of the public or other businesses, but not for claims by employees. While Employers’ Liability Insurance is compulsory, Public Liability Insurance is generally voluntary.
Public Liability Insurance covers any awards of damages given to a member of the public because of an injury or damage to their property caused by you or your business. if you work with the public then Public Liability Insurance cover is essential, no matter what your trade.
Products Liability Insurance
If you supply products to the general public you have a responsibility to make sure that they are safe. Initially the responsibility lies with the manufacturer of the goods, but retailers and wholesalers that distribute the products also have legal responsibilities. Primarily you have to make sure that your goods are safe – if you fail to do so, you can end up facing legal action. You can even find yourself being sued by anyone who has been injured or had their property damaged by your goods.
Product Liability Insurance protects you against defective products that you are responsible for that cause: