10 tips: keep a lid on it

1. Dummy run

Find a way to go through some detailed risk analysis and catastrophe
planning. You may not be able to afford a specialist to come in and help so look
out for workshops and seminars. Plan for the unexpected, or undertake a ‘dry
run’ disaster. Solutions will then be on the ‘radar’ of the company directors.
It might be time consuming but it might prove a lot cheaper in the long run.

2. Welfare state

The state of your training for employees, and your approach to their welfare
may be the biggest stumbling block you face in getting to grips with planning
unexpected risks posed by health a safety. Low investment in training and
welfare can, the experts say, lead to poor ‘housekeeping’ and human error,
sometimes with devastating consequences.

3. Ear to the ground

You might turn to consultants for help with your health and safety policy and
you’ll want one with experience of your industry. Look at professional bodies
and listen to what the representatives from your trade associations have to say.
They might just put you in touch with someone who will save you from disaster.

4. Straight talking

If you do use a consultant, brief him properly. This is not simply so he or
she knows what you need. Experts say that a poor brief, or inaccurate
information, might leave you, rather than the consultant, liable if things do go

5. Beauty parade

If you’re really stuck for who to turn to the Institute of Occupational
Safety and Health maintains a list of 300 consultant members. The ISOH estimates
it can match an applicant with up to six appropriate consultants.

6. Recording fever

Once you’ve had a risk assessment you must keep detailed records of any
review carried out. They must show that a comprehensive assessment using
specialist help has been undertaken and that all the obvious hazards have been
dealt with. You must also note what reasonable precautions have been put in
place to ensure that the remaining risk is acceptably low.

7. Bedtime reading

Running company vehicles remains one of the biggest health and safety risks
for companies. FDs often find themselves managing the vehicles because they are
often seen as a perk. But they present key risks. Read the Department of
Transport Driving at Work guide to find the key issues you should know about.

8. Deadly business

If the worst does happen and an employee is injured or tragically killed
while driving a company car a police investigation could follow. These can be
particularly stressful. Fleet managers would do well to read through the police
guide to these matters, the Road Death Investigation Manual. It reveals just
what you could face.

9. No bad attitude

Insurers like to see a good attitude to health and safety in management,
which they take as an indicator of a good risk. That’s the most likely way
premiums can be minimised.

10. Exhibit A

Insurers also like to see documentary evidence that employers have analysed
their past accident record to see where the risks are and what to do about them.
They want to see that managers are getting at the root cause. This is another
sure fire way to impress when trying to negotiate your insurance premiums down.

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