If you run a business in the UK, you’ll know that anything can and probably will happen. You have a responsibility to protect your staff, your customers and your business, but things rarely go to plan.
You might think that you have everything covered, but when you look at the statistics, the reality is that the possibility of an insurance claim against you or your business is almost guaranteed.
Throughout 2015-2016 in the UK, public liability insurers paid out on average, £7.2m in claims every day. There is also an estimated £15 billion paid out each year for injuries and ill health resulting from employee’s working conditions. That’s a lot of compensation.
Public liability insurance is not required by law, but it’s crazy to think that some businesses are operating without this essential safety net against some of the most common financial claims. Occupiers of business premises can be liable for any injury caused to a member of the public if the premises are dangerous enough that there is a risk posed. This even includes accidents in external areas such as gardens.
You must, as a legal requirement, have a valid Employers’ Liability Insurance policy if you employ staff at your business, even if it’s run from home. The policy should cover all staff, even temporary, voluntary and self-employed contractors.
Below are some of the most common accident claims that businesses in the UK face every day.
Common Accident Claims
Falling, Tripping & Slipping
Instances of people falling over, slipping or tripping are amongst the most common causes of accidents in the workplace. Around 10% of insurance claims are related to a situation where a customer, or employee, has slipped or fallen.
Some accidents are unpreventable and, in these cases, an employer or business cannot be held liable. So you should always ensure that you are following proper safety procedures within the workplace. If a floor is wet, for instance, make sure that appropriate and adequate signage is provided.
Falling, tripping and slipping accidents can lead to head injuries, back injuries, bone fractures and in the worst-case scenarios even paralysis or death. Falling from a height is one of the highest causes of fatal injury in the workplace. It is also the cause of major workplace injuries, including broken limbs and fractured skulls.
Manual Handling & Lifting
As an employer, it is your duty to protect your workers from the risk of injuries gained from manual handling in the workplace and there are legal obligations for employers to follow in order to minimise these risks. Health and Safety Executive statistics show that manual handling was the cause of 21% of accidents at work during 2017/18.
Manual handling means to transport or support weight by hand or by using bodily force and includes actions such as lifting, pushing, pulling, putting down, carrying or moving loads with a load being defined as an object, person or animal. Manual handling has been linked to disorders of the musculoskeletal system, repetitive strain injury and back pain.
Suitable training will give your employees the knowledge to correctly utilise manual handling techniques and ensure that you stay within the law.
One of the most common claims if you work in the food industry is accidental burns. So if you are running a restaurant or similar business, there is more chance of this type of injury occurring at your workplace. Because your customers and staff are in regular contact with hot food and liquids, there are many opportunities for these types of accidents to happen.
The waiter could spill hot soup on a customer or the kitchen staff might accidentally touch a hot plate, both of which could lead to a burn injury and a claim for all expenses incurred for the medical treatment of the burn and possibly even cosmetic surgery. This means having the right financial protection is critical.
Driving & Transport Accidents
Some jobs require a large amount of driving. Unfortunately, driving jobs can result in road traffic accidents and the more time you spend driving, the more at risk you are.
Although at-work drivers are much less likely to be involved in an accident caused by speeding or being under the influence than other motorists, they are much more likely to engage in other types of risky driving behaviour. At least one in three fatal crashes and one in four serious injury crashes in the UK involve someone driving for work.
In some circumstances, these types of accidents can be the fault of the employer, due to them failing to conduct adequate risk assessments, driver training or vehicle maintenance. So anyone who drives for your business should be risk assessed. Driving for long periods of time and poor posture whilst driving can also contribute to musculoskeletal injuries.
You Need the Right Insurance
It may feel like a painful purchase, but having the right insurance policy will bring you peace of mind and save you from having to pay out expensive compensation and legal fees in the long run. Business is never predictable but having the right business insurance policy in place can help to protect you against common accident claims like these.
Ashburnham Insurance understands that you cannot afford to spend hours searching online for business insurance which is why we provide access to a range of policies from various well-known insurers instantly online. It is best to be protected against unpredictable events. Call us for free on 0800 1696137.