Over recent years, most insurers have become far more concerned with compliance with health and safety regulations. A typical insurance surveyor will expect to see written health and safety policy signed by a director and reviewed within the last year or so, written general risk assessments as required by the Management of Health and Safety Regulations, separate fire risk assessment, COSHH material data sheets and assessments, manual handling assessments, noise assessments, accident reporting records, training records, and records of receipt of personal protective equipment by employees. Providing the knowledge and resource to put all these requirements in place is not easy for many SME clients and has been seized on as a sales opportunity by many organisations. We have seen many expensive ‘solutions’ including personalised health and safety policies consisting of 3 sides of A4 for £1,500, large folders full of vinyl sheets which never get completed and gather dust on the shelves, consultant services which guide the customer through templates but ultimately leave the client with blank forms to complete, or audits which point out all the things that are missing but provide no solution. We have developed an approach of providing our clients with personalised, real example information at no cost. If we give a client a 10 side draft health and safety policy statement with the company name and responsible persons’ names in place, it is a far easier task to perhaps remove a few sections which are not relevant, than to start the document from scratch. Likewise, if we give a client a copy of a full set of risk assessments that we have completed for an unnamed manufacturing client (including stock storage, assembly, welding, machine operations, fork lift trucks, distribution, office, showroom, work away, disabled workers and young workers) they are likely to find the risk assessment process less daunting and time consuming than starting with a blank template.

Adrian Sutton has a NEBOSH certificate in health and safety.