Safety bodies call for reforms to employee insurance

Three
leading safety organisations are calling on the Government to make radical
reforms in the way in which insurers provide cover to compensate employees
injured or made ill at work.

The
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the Institution of Occupational
Safety and Health and the British Safety Council have joined forces to press
for stronger links between Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI) and
health and safety management.

The
Department of Work and Pensions is reviewing the current ELCI arrangements at a
time when some businesses say soaring premiums mean they cannot afford
insurance – and without insurance they cannot trade legally.

Currently,
premiums tend to be based on the claims record of a particular industry sector
rather than a company’s health and safety management performance. This fails to
give individual businesses an incentive to improve.

The
three safety organisations, which want to see a Green Paper published on the
issue, want a new partnership between the Government, its various agencies and
ELCI insurers. 

The
Government must help insurers tackle some of the uncertainties in the market –
particularly those associated with long-term disease claims.

In
return, the insurers should agree to work more closely with individual
customers by focusing on health and safety management performance, plans and
targets.

In
small firms, for example, insurers might link premiums with the implementation
of a simple health and safety action plan.

This
could also involve insurers establishing closer relationships with health and
safety service providers to promote best practices and most up-to-date safety
knowledge. 

Savings
on accidents, incidents and ill health would offset increased costs of
enlisting the help of health and safety experts.

By Ben Willmott

Comments are closed.