Help to prevent the Escape of Water

 

Escape of Water (EOW) is a term used to define a water leak in a property. It usually occurs in instances where there is a catastrophic burst or slow leak from the plumbing or heating system involving pipes and joints, but also appliances or even faulty bathroom sealant.

EOW related situations have increased across all building types and industries over the last few years and are the most likely causes of insurance claims. According to research by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) in 2020, escape of water (EOW) is the leading cause of residential property insurance claims in the UK. While these type of claims are prolific in residential property the commercial property sector is also at substantial risk.

In 2020

  • 1 in 5 building and contents claims were for EOW
  • 238,000 claims were made for EOW
  • £3,170 was the average cost of an EOW claim
  • Cost insurers on average £1.8m in claims on a daily basis

Zurich Insurance’s own data suggests that whilst the total number of water damage claims has stayed relatively static, the magnitude and cost of such claims has increased sharply and continues to rise.

Checklist to help prevent escape of water

The five-point checklist below, can be used to help mitigate the risk of EOW:

  • Education is key. Ensure occupants know where the water shut-off valve (stopcock) is in case of emergency. Test the valve to make sure it can be turned off quickly and easily
  • Resident checks. Ask residents to complete an annual checklist, requiring occupants to periodically check and report on the condition of key plumbing components, including in difficult-to-see areas, such as behind bath and shower panels – include these checks within the tenancy agreement
  • Maintenance programme. If you have responsibility for the maintenance and repair of a domestic property, make sure there is a comprehensive, planned preventative maintenance system in place
  • High tech solutions. Consider installing leak detection devices that can shut off the water supply and raise an alarm in the event of a leak. Intelligent and programmable equipment also allows you to remotely manage water availability in unoccupied premises, to shut it off and reduce the risk of water damage when it’s temporarily vacant
  • Skills and know-how. Ensure occupants don’t try to mend something themselves. Incorrect installation of pipes can lead to escape of water. For example, not sufficiently tightening a compression joint, or not shutting off the stopcock when fitting a new pipe. Always use experts with the right qualifications and equipment to carry out installations and repairs – or it may cost more in the long-term.

Further guidance

There are simple preventative measure that reduce the likelihood and severity of an EOW occurring. To help highlight and prevent these incidents, Zurich Resilience Solutions have produced a guide for tenants. The guide includes a list of common causes, tips on how to prevent EOW damage, details on incident response and more.

You can download the guide here.

This article is adapted from an original post by Zurich which can be found here.

Industry specific risk management guides

 

Our insurer partner Axa Insurance have produced industry specific risk management guides to help you reduce the risks associated with your business and keep your business operational as well as protecting your staff and keeping your customers safe.

If your trade sector isn’t listed and/or you want to find out more about how we can help you with risk management, please get in touch.

Why cyber risk should be a priority for every boardroom

 

A common mistake many organisations make is to leave responsibility for managing cyber risk to the IT department. In reality, improving cyber security and cyber resilience is an enterprise-wide challenge, which requires buy-in from every employee.

Organisations’ potential exposure to cyber risk has increased significantly over the last 18 months. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many organisations accelerate the digitalisation of their processes so that they can connect with their employees, consumers, suppliers and other stakeholders digitally. Not only does this mean they are becoming more reliant on digital connectivity, they are also processing ever larger quantities of data, much of which could be attractive to cyber criminals.

Arunava Banerjee, Senior Cyber Risk Consultant, Zurich, says: “Cyber risk is not just about malicious intent. It can also include technical failures or inadvertent data breaches by employees. A cyber risk mitigation strategy needs to consider all the cyber threats your organisation could face.”

Board members should understand their own exposure to cyber risk

Authorities and regulators are now making it increasingly clear that they expect cyber risk to be a board level priority for organisations large and small. Directors and officers should also be aware of their individual exposure to cyber risk. This could include claims relating to breaches of fiduciary duty to shareholders, if it is alleged individual board members should have done more to prevent a cyber attack or data breach, or taken swifter action to mitigate the resulting damage.

Compounding this risk, some forms of cyber attack involve social engineering techniques that specifically target or imitate senior managers and leaders. Such techniques include whaling, a highly targeted form of phishing, whereby a message purporting to be from a senior figure within an organisation aims to trick the recipient into performing an action, such as transferring money.

While there have not been significant numbers of cyber-related D&O claims to date in the UK, organisations’ increasing exposure to cyber risk is expected to give rise to greater numbers of claims in the years ahead.

5 ways to build and improve cyber resilience

  • Treat cyber risk like other financial and operational risks. Ensure it is high on the boardroom agenda, and that it is budgeted for and appropriately resourced
  • Carry out regular, systematic assessments of cyber risk across all critical processes, in order to understand your exposures and the potential impacts of different cyber incidents
  • Be clear on roles and responsibilities, and establish clear channels for managing and escalating cyber incidents
  • Ensure senior managers and board members are appropriately trained in cyber security and cyber risk
  • Don’t treat cyber insurance as a silver bullet. Insurance can be invaluable in helping organisations recover quickly after a cyber incident, but it will not stop incidents happening in the first place, nor will it address the root causes of such incidents. Organisations should focus on improving their cyber maturity, rather than relying solely on cyber insurance

The role of senior leaders in managing cyber risk

Senior leaders and managers play a crucial role in ensuring cyber risk is understood and managed throughout an organisation. It cannot simply be a case of allocating a budget for cyber security and then leaving it to one department or one individual to take ownership of the problem.

Arunava says: “Senior leaders must ensure responsibility for cyber risk is not siloed within IT. It should be treated as an enterprise-wide challenge.

“Organisations will often say ‘cyber is on my corporate risk register’ but how are they actually mitigating it? Cyber risk needs to be an active part of your enterprise risk management programme and understood, managed and evaluated at every stage – change management, new projects and so on.”

Above all, Arun concludes: “Organisations must have the mindset that a cyber incident could happen tomorrow and they need to be ready for it. It’s time to stop reacting and start anticipating.”

This article is adapted from an original post by Zurich which can be found here.

Risk management guide for the small to medium UK manufacturing businesses

Practical risk management advice for small and midsize manufacturing businesses

While Manufacturing comprises just 5% of the UK’s businesses, it accounts for 10% of employment and 14% of turnover. Of the 270,000 firms that make up this diverse sector, just over half (138,050) are micro and SME manufacturers.

Each manufacturing site has a unique risk profile, however all firms are exposed to a common set of risks. Understanding these risks can help you identify areas of your business that are most susceptible to the types of claims typically made by manufacturers, RSA have created this guide to help you safeguard your business, employees, contractors and site visitors.

This guide covers off the “do’s and don’ts” of the below, and provides practical advice on planning ahead to protect your business.

  • Moving Machinery
  • External storage, fire and arson
  • Housekeeping
  • Hot works
  • Forklift trucks
  • Electrical fires

Click here to access the guide.

Protecting your property from water leaks

According to Ecclesiastical claims data, escape of water is the second largest cause of property insurance claims.

Water leaks that go unchecked can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage and properties can take months to dry out before repairs can be completed. You may, therefore, need to relocate to alternative premises in order to continue to operate.

As insurers, we have seen incidents where a small water leak has quickly escalated into a much larger loss. Whilst your insurance policy may provide cover should an insured loss occur, it cannot compensate for the inconvenience and disruption you may face.

Acting quickly when you discover a water leak can mean the difference between a small clean up job or extensive damage and inconvenience.

Common causes of water leaks

  • Pipework failure, including both compression and push fit joints: flexible hoses used to connect washing machines and dishwashers and as a consequence of corrosion to copper pipe
  • Valve failure, including ball cocks in water tanks
  • Frozen pipework due to lack of heating and/or insulation
  • Poor workmanship
  • Faulty equipment.

Tips for preventing leaks

  • Periodically check your stopcock to ensure it turns on and off easily.
  • Have pipework regularly inspected and maintained by an accredited plumber such as a member of the ‘Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors’ or the ‘Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers’.
  • Keep on top of simple maintenance such as changing washers and fixing dripping taps.
  • Check water tanks and cylinders for any corrosion and arrange for central heating systems to be maintained annually.
  • Lag or fit trace heating to exposed pipework where there is a risk of freezing.
  • If the property is going to be vacant for an extended period, consider isolating and draining down the water supply or ensure heating to the property is maintained (Please note – this may be a condition of your insurance policy).
  • Never leave the plug in water basins or baths.
  • Install leak detection devices in high-risk areas. These devices will detect a water leak in the earlier stages and raise an alert. They can also be linked to building management systems and may be able to isolate the mains water supply to the property to reduce damage.
  • Flow detection devices may also be considered. These monitor the flow of water in the pipework to your property and isolate it if abnormal flow conditions are detected.

What to do if you find a leak

Did you know that the potential water loss from a burst pipe can be as much as 400 litres an hour – that’s about the same as four full bath tubs of water! So whenever you find or suspect a leak, take immediate action.

  • Turn off your water supply at the main stopcock
  • Turn off the electrics and heating
  • Drain the water systems by turning on your taps
  • If it’s safe to so do remove items at risk of damage to a dry area
  • If water is seeping through ceilings and it is safe to do so, try to collect it in a suitable receptacle
  • Again only if it is safe to do so, if a ceiling is bulging you can consider piercing it to release the water and prevent the ceiling collapsing.
  • Never touch wet wiring or electrical items.

Remember that if electrical wiring or equipment gets wet to always consult an electrician before using again.

This article is adapted from an original post by Ecclesiastical which can be found here.

The Highway Code: Key changes you need to know

 

The changes follow a public consultation on a review of The Highway Code to improve road safety for people walking, cycling and riding horses. It ran from July to October 2020, and received more than 20,000 responses from the public, businesses and other organisations. Most people who responded were in favour of all the changes.

The changes were made to The Highway Code on Saturday 29 January 2022.

Here are the key changes that you need to know about:

1. Hierarchy of road users

The ‘hierarchy of road users’ is a concept that places those road users most at risk in the event of a collision at the top of the hierarchy. The hierarchy does not remove the need for everyone to behave responsibly. The road users most likely to be injured in the event of a collision are pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists, with children, older adults and disabled people being more at risk.

Find out more here.

2. People crossing the road at junctions

The updated code clarifies that:

  • when people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, other traffic should give way
  • if people have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, the people crossing have priority and the traffic should give way
  • people driving, riding a motorcycle or cycling must give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing

A parallel crossing is similar to a zebra crossing, but includes a cycle route alongside the black and white stripes.

3. Positioning in the road when cycling

There is updated guidance for people cycling about positioning themselves which includes:

  • riding in the centre of their lane on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions or road narrowings
  • keeping at least 0.5 metres (just over 1.5 feet) away from the kerb edge (and further where it is safer) when riding on busy roads with vehicles moving faster than them

People cycling in groups

The updated code explains that people cycling in groups:

  • should be considerate of the needs of other road users when riding in groups
  • can ride 2 abreast – and it can be safer to do so, particularly in larger groups or when accompanying children or less experienced riders

People cycling are asked to be aware of people driving behind them and allow them to overtake (for example, by moving into single file or stopping) when it’s safe to do so.

People cycling passing parked vehicles

The updated code explains that people cycling should:

  • take care when passing parked vehicles, leaving enough room (a door’s width or 1 metre) to avoid being hit if a car door is opened
  • watch out for people walking into their path

4. Overtaking when driving or cycling

You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear) to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10 mph or less (Rule 129).

There is updated guidance on safe passing distances and speeds for people driving or riding a motorcycle when overtaking vulnerable road users, including:

  •  leaving at least 1.5 metres (5 feet) when overtaking people cycling at speeds of up to 30mph, and giving them more space when overtaking at higher speeds
  • passing people riding horses or driving horse-drawn vehicles at speeds under 10 mph and allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space
  • allowing at least 2 metres (6.5 feet) of space and keeping to a low speed when passing people walking in the road (for example, where there’s no pavement)

Wait behind them and do not overtake if it’s unsafe or not possible to meet these clearances.

People cycling passing slower-moving or stationary traffic

The updated code confirms that people cycling may pass slower-moving or stationary traffic on their right or left.

They should proceed with caution as people driving may not be able to see them. This is particularly important:

  • on the approach to junctions
  • when deciding whether it is safe to pass lorries or other large vehicles

5. People cycling at junctions

The code has been updated to clarify that when turning into or out of a side road, people cycling should give way to people walking who are crossing or waiting to cross.

There is new advice about new special cycle facilities at some junctions.

Some junctions now include small cycle traffic lights at eye-level height, which may allow cyclists to move separately from or before other traffic. People cycling are encouraged to use these facilities where they make their journey safer and easier.

There is also new guidance for people cycling at junctions with no separate facilities.

The code recommends that people cycling should proceed as if they were driving a vehicle where there are no separate cyclist facilities. This includes positioning themselves in the centre of their chosen lane, where they feel able to do this safely. This is to:

  • make them as visible as possible
  • avoid being overtaken where this would be dangerous

People cycling turning right

The code now includes advice for people cycling using junctions where signs and markings tell them to turn right in 2 stages. These are:

  • stage 1 – when the traffic lights turn green, go straight ahead to the location marked by a cycle symbol and turn arrow on the road, and then stop and wait
  • stage 2 – when the traffic lights on the far side of the junction (now facing the people cycling) turn green, complete the manoeuvre

People cycling have priority when going straight ahead at junctions

The code clarifies that when people cycling are going straight ahead at a junction, they have priority over traffic waiting to turn into or out of a side road, unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise.

People cycling are asked to watch out for people driving intending to turn across their path, as people driving ahead may not be able to see them.

6. People cycling, riding a horse and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

The code has been updated to clarify that people driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to people cycling on roundabouts. The new guidance will say people driving and or riding a motorcycle should:

  • not attempt to overtake people cycling within that person’s lane
  • allow people cycling to move across their path as they travel around the roundabout

The code already explained that people cycling, riding a horse and driving a horse-drawn vehicle may stay in the left-hand lane of a roundabout when they intend to continue across or around the roundabout.

Guidance has been added to explain that people driving should take extra care when entering a roundabout to make sure they do not cut across people cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle who are continuing around the roundabout in the left-hand lane.

Find out about all the changes

In total, 10 sections of The Highway Code have been updated, with 50 rules being added or updated.

You can find a summary of all the changes in The Highway Code updates list on GOV.UK.

Stay up to date

The Highway Code is essential reading for everyone. It’s updated regularly, so it’s important that everyone reads it – not just learner drivers.

Many of the rules in the code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you’re committing a criminal offence.

If you do not follow the other rules in the code, it can be used in evidence in court proceedings to establish liability.

You can:

This content has been sourced from the gov.uk website under open government license.

Considerations of Contractors Professional Indemnity cover

Many contracting businesses who do not specifically design anything for a fee will be unaware of the potential risks they may face in not carrying Professional Indemnity cover. In the increasingly litigious society we live in, where it would seem that everyone wants someone to blame, should you consider cover just to protect yourself if something goes wrong? Often contracts will stipulate that Professional Indemnity cover is required. Professional Indemnity Insurance reacts in circumstances where a client claims to have suffered a financial loss as a result of a professional error made or alleged to have been made.

Even if you have made no error, a policy would provide cover for legal fees to defend yourself.

Contractors may incur design exposures even when they have no contractual liability for design. For example, they may have to make changes as the construction progresses following problems encountered on site.

Contractors have a huge amount of practical experience but are not design professionals and it is often when this practical knowledge, combined with professional expectations, that things can go wrong. Professional designers are not unknown to design something that cannot actually be built and the contractors input may achieve everything intended. However, if it does go wrong, everyone will be pulled into the claim and if the contractor does not carry their own Professional Indemnity cover this can become extremely expensive.

Professional Indemnity cover is arranged on what is known as a ‘claims made basis’ rather than the traditional ‘claims occurring’ which would apply to Employers or Public Liability incidents. This means the insurer on cover at the time an allegation is made would be responsible for the claim rather than the one on cover when the error occurred. It is therefore very important to review your policy carefully at each renewal, particularly if there is likely to be a change of insurer, to avoid any difficulties should an allegation be made after renewal. This also means that cover needs to be purchased for a further period after completion of the work to ensure full protection continues.

For those individuals, particularly one-man operations or very small businesses, they may not recognise that they have this threat, because it hasn’t yet happened to them. But it only takes one complex issue to take up all the management time for a small SME – which typically doesn’t have sophisticated resources, or a legal and compliance department like large companies have – and that can really threaten the business.

Contact us today to discuss Contractors Professional Indemnity cover and how it can benefit you.

What is Indexation and how does it impact your insurance?

 

There are several factors that now make indexation more important than ever. One factor is the significant rise in demand for building materials, and disruption to the global supply chain caused by the pandemic and national lockdowns. Certain elements of Brexit and local shortages of suitable labour are also affecting rebuilding and claims costs.

How does index linking work?

At each renewal of a policy, Insurers adjust the property sum insured, either by applying a flat rate of increase, or having tracked indices of property value. These are usually calculated from data provided by Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Office for National Statistics. In recent years, these indices have grown at a relatively low rate, but in 2021, the rate of growth has been more significant and sustained. This is now seeing an average of a 10% increase on insurance for property and businesses. The pricing impact of the increased valuations may in part be offset within Insurer pricing algorithms, however most policy holders will be seeing the impact with price increases.

Despite the impact to pricing, this change will benefit policy holders by ensuring they are adequately insured. Under-insurance can significantly affect a claim settlement. Reviewing your sums insured has never been so important with inflation so high. The cost of increasing cover usually is relatively small in comparison to the cover provided.

Speak to your Insurance broker to discuss your current coverage and the options available.

This article is adapted from an original post by NIG which can be found here.

Employee fraud and theft

Whilst it’s not a risk you like to think about, the possibility of internal theft or fraud is one anyone who has employees or places trust in a contractor needs to take heed of.

There’s a variety of ways a worker might betray the trust they have been given, including:

  • falsifying their qualifications and/or employment references;
  • manipulation of invoices, receipts, bank account details and other financial documents;
  • leaking exclusive data, sales leads and/or professional partnership terms which competitors have an interest in;
  • misusing their official work hours or abusing flexible working time systems; and/or
  • faking or exaggerating claims for travel expenses and client entertainment costs.

Many employees that commit fraud will do it for their own gain, but in some cases the organisation may be infiltrated by an organised criminal gang.

Key actions to prevent employee theft and fraud

  • Understand what you have that may be targeted by a fraudster and design suitable measures to reduce the risk. For example, finance processes (including procurement and payments, accounts) should be overseen by senior employees to ensure one person can’t transfer assets by themselves.
    • Perform regular checks and audits to ensure the fraud prevention measures are being followed so that access to key assets is effectively restricted.
  • Ensure good key security and access code management practices for all external doors, safes, stock rooms, vehicles, storage containers, cupboards, etc.
    • Don’t forget to consider who can access intruder alarm and CCTV systems.
  • Obtain (and thoroughly check) at least two independent references for prospective employees.
  • Take note of behavioural changes amongst your workers.
  • Don’t allow lone working, as much as is possible, and set up whistleblowing methods that allow anonymous reporting and protection for those voicing their suspicions.
  • Issue a clear anti-fraud policy statement and ensure all employees receive training on fraud prevention and that they know how to report any concerns they may have.
  • Install tracking, telematics or other similar systems to your owned vehicles and have a robust key security system for other vehicles your business may be taking care of (i.e. in the motor trade industry).
  • Set up various security precautions and measures for computer data and connected devices. Review our risk topic pages on cyber threats and data management for guidance regarding this.
  • Enforce a ‘clean desk’ policy so confidential papers are locked away when not in use.
  • Establish a system of recording issues and return of devices, tools and equipment.
  • Put procedures in place for the exit of an employee who has access to confidential data and/or information. ‘Gardening leave’ is a common practice, where an employee whose employment has been terminated, or who has resigned, is immediately instructed to stay away from the premises during their notice period so they can’t obtain up-to-date sensitive information.

This article is adapted from an original post by Allianz which can be found here.

 

Employing young people

Young people can be keen to learn and may bring fresh perspectives and ideas into the workplace.

However, their capabilities are generally less developed than those of experienced and mature employees and their individual characteristics must be taken into account. Young people new to the workplace environment outside the education system may be eager to impress or please others, but they can’t be expected to be aware of the hazards and potential risks to themselves or others.

There’s a wide range of legislation concerning the health, safety and welfare of young people and there’s a special focus on the provision of information, training and supervision to meet their particular needs.

A young person can’t be employed for work which is beyond their physical or psychological capacity, or work which involves:

  • harmful exposure to radiation or toxic or carcinogenic agents that might cause heritable (genetic) damage or chronic health problems;
  • a risk of accidents they may not be able to appropriately recognise or avoid, due to their lack of experience, knowledge or training; or
  • a risk to their health from extreme cold or heat, noise or vibration.

There can be exceptions to these prohibitions where it’s necessary they carry out the work for their training, provided the young person is supervised by a competent person, and any risk is reduced to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

This risk topic looks at the more common hazards that should be considered to safeguard the health and safety of anyone under the age of 18, and above the minimum school leaving age (MSLA; fixed at the last Friday in June of the school year (1 September to 31 August) in which the child reaches the age of 16). Our risk topic page on employing children provides guidance about the health and safety at work of a child below the MSLA and students involved in work experience.

Working time limits for young workers:

The regulations regarding working time are complex, but, to summarise them briefly, the main limitations and requirements for young workers are:

  • A maximum working time of eight hours a day and 40 hours per week, and an uninterrupted 30 minute in-work rest break when working longer than four and a half hours. College time doesn’t count as work, unless it’s part of job-related training.
  • The limits in (a) don’t apply where the work by the young person is necessary to maintain continuity of service or production, or to respond to a surge in demand for service or product, provided that there is no adult available to perform the duties and the young person’s education and training needs are not adversely affected.
  • 2 consecutive hours’ rest in any 24-hour period.
  • A two day rest period in each seven day period.
  • In general, young persons are not allowed to work at night or within the ‘restricted period’, i.e. between 10pm and 6am (or between 11pm and 7am if contracted to work after 10pm).
  • The prohibition in (e) doesn’t apply in the circumstances outlined in (b) to a young worker in a hospital or similar establishment, or in connection with cultural, artistic, sporting or advertising activities.
  • The prohibition in (e) doesn’t apply in the circumstances outlined in (b), except where it prohibits work between midnight and 4am in agriculture, retail trading, postal or newspaper deliveries, a catering business, a hotel, public house, restaurant, bar or similar establishment, or a bakery.
  • Where the exceptions in (f) or (g) apply, the young worker must be supervised by an adult worker where necessary for the young worker’s protection, and allowed an equivalent period of compensatory rest.
  • A free assessment of health and capabilities must be provided prior to assignment to night work and at regular intervals thereafter.
  • Detailed records must be retained for two years.

Key actions to safeguard young workers

  • Identify the prohibitions, restrictions and specific duties defined in health and safety law and the rules set out in the Working Time Regulations.
  • Assess the health and safety risks and suitability of the proposed work before recruiting a young person.
  • Check what specific prohibitions and/or requirements, restrictions or recommendations apply to certain types of work or use of equipment. A young person may operate high-risk machinery (except lift trucks on dock premises) during training, but only if they’re sufficiently mature and appropriately supervised, until they can demonstrate the appropriate level of competence to work safely unsupervised. Examples of work and equipment that is usually prohibited for young people include:
    • High-risk woodworking machinery which is hand-fed – in particular, a sawing machine fitted with a circular blade or band saw, a planing machine when used for surfacing or a vertical spindle moulding machine.
    • Power presses.
    • Lead smelting and refining processes and lead-acid battery manufacture.
    • High-risk lifting machinery, e.g. cranes, construction site hoists and fork-lift trucks.
    • Agricultural and horticultural vehicles and machinery.
    • Work on docks, in compressed air, underwater, involving the carriage of dangerous explosives and goods or shipbuilding and ship repair.
  • Check that the standard induction training is appropriate and suited to the needs of the young person and ensure that the induction includes employees’ responsibilities.
  • Implement suitable training programmes for young workers.
  • Inform young workers of the risk to their health and safety (as you should for all employees) and provide, free of charge, any personal protective and safety equipment.
  • Provide information, instruction and training prior to commencement of the work and provide time for the young person to ask any questions.
  • Complete a specific risk assessment, taking into consideration the young person’s proposed work, lack of experience, maturity and hazard awareness before they start work. Take account of their individual characteristics, for example:
    • background influences, such as family, cultural or religious beliefs, or social pressures;
    • unfamiliarity with the workplace and the nature and organisation of processes and activities;
    • their stature and physical needs and how these correspond with the ergonomic design of the workplace and workstations or affect their ability to endure or recover from exposure to physical, biological and chemical hazards;
    • a limited appreciation of the workplace hazards;
    • a need for tailored formats or more time to take on board the information, instruction and training given to them (due to the unfamiliarity);
    • the temptation to take shortcuts, misbehave (often as a result of peer pressure) or copy the unsafe practices of others;
    • a lack of experience dealing with violent or aggressive behaviour or unauthorised initiations they may be faced with; and/or
    • a lack of confidence or reluctance to ask questions or report issues.
  • Maintain appropriate levels of supervision during and after the training of the young worker(s).
  • Monitor compliance by conducting regular reviews with the young worker(s) and their appointed trainer(s)/buddy.
  • Review the risk assessment if circumstances change and at regular intervals.

To find out more about how you can provide a safe working environment for your employees please visit the HSE website.

This article is adapted from an original post by Allianz which can be found here.