Professional indemnity insurance policyholders urged to be thoughtful

Business insurance policy holders have recently been urged by industry experts to be thoughtful when considering their Health and Safety precautions and duties for their workers.

The Health and Safety Executive has issued several reminders to employers liability policy holders on how important it is to ensure that working conditions are kept both clean and hygienic.  Highlighting the importance of the HSE’s warning is one case in which a window manufacturer was hit with a heavy fine after ignoring two improvement notices from the regulatory body.

Inspectors for the HSE had found that the employee’s facilities on site were greatly lacking in standards of cleanliness and hygiene.  Employee toilets were in a state of extreme disrepair.  Employees were also bereft of either soap or hot water with which to wash their hands adequately.

Additionally the premises’ staff break area was found to be ill equipped, filthy, and covered with dust and debris that had drifted over from a work area nearby.  HSE Inspector Clare Hawkes commented on the issues by stating that employers are required by law to provide minimum basic standards of hygienic and clean welfare facilities for its staff.  Failing to provide decently kept-up facilities is a serious matter, stated Ms Hawkes, as is neglecting to comply with enforcement notices.

Firms must ensure that their workplace has strong Health and Safety measures established therein.  Additionally companies need to check that their business liability insurance policies offer enough protection against all possibilities and eventualities.  This is especially important due to how dangerous, expensive, and disruptive health related incidents can be to uninsured or under-insured businesses.

No information was made available regarding the fate of the window manufacturer and whether their insurance policy covered the costs of the HSE fines.

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