• Construction Commercial Insurance Profile – Quarter 4 2018


    Recognise the risk: Your employees might be under the influence on-site

    More than one-third of construction workers have experienced a colleague under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on-site, according to the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS). Although working while intoxicated by drink or drugs is a serious concern within any profession, these findings are even more alarming for an industry often labelled as ‘high-risk’ due to a frequently hazardous working environment involving heavy machinery and dangerous equipment. According to industry experts employees under the influence may experience symptoms such as impaired vision or hearing, reduced concentration, poor judgement, and lacking co-ordination. Any of these effects could cause the following:

    Severe injuries or fatalities
    Absenteeism and presenteeism
    Increased criminal activity

    Despite these hazards, the CCS revealed 65 per cent of construction workers reported never being tested for drugs or alcohol. Be sure you are not ignoring this serious risk in your organisation.

    Consider the following tips:

    Enforce a strict zero tolerance policy towards drug and alcohol use in the workplace. Communicate this standards to all employees through on-site training and with resources such as posters or pamphlets.
    Conduct random drug and alcohol testing for all employees. Ensure all relevant privacy and legal requirements are adhered to strictly. Hire a professional agency to carry out the testing process.


    What the industry learned from Grenfell: Avoiding cladding concerns

    A little over a year the tragic event at Grenfell Tower occurred, A catastrophic fire spread around all four sides of the 24-storey block of flats which resulted in 72 fatalities. In the year following the fire, the construction industry experienced increased concern about the use of cladding and its association to fire safety. The exterior of Grenfell’s Tower was fitted with ACM cladding, a material that has been linked to the spread of the fire. It is crucial to ensure that your projects are safe for years to come. Do not let poor workplace practices result in the next tragedy – use this guidance when working with cladding on a project:

    Take extra care – Pay particular attention to the selection of materials for your projects especially cladding. Pay close attention to the product manufacturer’s specification, the material’s fire safety test results and whether it complies with agreed Building Regulations standards.
    Purchase necessary cover – Make sure you are protected by your insurance policy where possible. For more information regarding appropriate cover, contact First Insurance Solutions.

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