Whether we run our own business or are hired by someone else to do the job, there are necessary measures we must take every day to protect ourselves and those around us. The building and construction industry, in particular, comes with multiple risks to combat. From heavy moving vehicles, loud noises and heights, to working with potentially dangerous tools and equipment, there is a lot to take into consideration. And without the right protection, the risks and costs involved can be significant.
According to the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022, the construction sector is targeted as a priority to reduce workplace injuries on a national level. Between 2003 and 2013, there were 401 work-related fatalities in the building and construction industries, averaging to 36 every year. Throughout this time, 12,600 employees made a Workers’ Compensation claim too. The statistics speak for themselves, but with the right insurance cover, we can work on reducing these figures and protecting those involved.
Public liability insurance is essential in protecting you, your client or business’s best interests. It’s also the most popular insurance cover tradies will take out. But the benefits of such coverage don’t stop there. Engaging with a public liability insurance broker should be at the top of every tradie’s priority list to ensure the right and best cover for your workplace. Here’s why every smart tradie must have public liability insurance:
1. Abide by Worksite Requirements
Regulations and worksite requirements can change depending on occupation and where you live but generally, public liability is required to perform any building and construction work. Most medium to large sites (but don’t rule our smaller sites, either) will require evidence of public liability insurance before any work can commence. Some sites won’t even allow access without the right cover.
Jobs with licensing requirements, such as electricians and plumbers, will also need to have public liability insurance before they take on any work. When you apply for your licence or at every yearly renewal, you’ll need to show evidence of insurance cover before the licence can be granted.
2. Avoid Being Liable for Costs
When accidents happen in the workplace, by your fault or not, the costs can be huge. Protection for damage to workplace property is crucial to eliminate a lot of these costs. Property damage aside though, the costs involved in any workplace incident can range from $10 to $10 million dollars. If the accident is serious, these costs can shoot through the roof at an alarming rate and unless you have adequate protection in the form of insurance, you could be forking out of your own pocket.
It’s not just about making sure you’re covered either. If the business is yours, it’s your responsibility to make sure all workers on site are covered by public liability insurance. Failure to do this could mean you have to cover the costs in the event of an incident, even if it has nothing to do with you directly. Investing in the right insurance cover will also reduce (or eliminate) any costs involved when it comes to protecting members of the public too.
3. Prevent and Manage Risks
Risk management is a vital part of every successful business, regardless of what industry you’re in. Throw heavy machinery, tools and heights into the mix, and finding ways to prevent and manage risks is even more necessary. Public liability insurance is a cost-effective way to manage these risks and prepare for the unexpected. It also offers peace of mind in the event of an accident or emergency, to know that you, your employees, workplace and the public are all adequately protected.
4. Protection for Third Party Injuries
Public liability insurance isn’t just about protecting you on the job and your business, it also offers essential protection for third-party injuries too. If a client is injured as a result of work you or your business has carried out, you’ll be liable for the costs to cover any related medical expenses. Once a job is done and dusted, it’s not uncommon for accidents to still occur. Take an electrician for example; if faulty cabling was installed and your client was electrocuted a week later, you want to ensure that your client’s medical expenses are covered by insurance.
5. Protection for Business Reputation
Building a trustworthy business reputation takes a lot of work. It can take years to build a positive reputation and just seconds to destroy it. We don’t normally think of our businesses’ reputation when taking out insurance. But in the event of an accident on the job site, especially one that’s detrimental to the business brand, you want to assure both your clients and staff you have things covered.
By taking the necessary measures to protect your business and staff, you set a good example and keep customers happy. Clients want to engage with a business that exercises safe working practices and one they can trust has the right insurance to look after them should something go wrong.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson who recommends Trades Insurance for tailored insurance solutions for tradesmen and builders in Perth. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.