If you are a builder or are one of the many different trades involved in construction it essential that you consider all the risks that may occur on a building site and plan to take measures to avoid them. It is also essential that you have a proper back up plan in the form of insurance, should things go wrong.
Second only to farming, building is the most riskiest business in the UK.
Risks to builders and risks to others through their building activities exist at all stages of a building project no matter the size of the works, except that the larger the size construction the more likelihood for a risk event to occur.
The risks that present themselves to builders, building tradesman and members of the construction industry vary depending upon the stage of the development.
When ground-works are being dug on a new site, it is important to initially secure the site to prevent members of the public and unauthorised personnel straying into the building works area and potentially getting injured. Particular attention should be made to exclude the risk of children or animals gaining entry to the site.
People working on ground-works risk injury from diggers and mechanical equipment and a host of other risks. Large holes for foundations are obvious dangers, but the risk of ground collapse around the hole maybe not so obvious except to the professional. Badly stored materials and concrete deliveries have been known to cause many an accident.
The initial stages of a building works contract are often the most dangerous as there is a constant stream of traffic delivering building materials and the workforce is unfamiliar with its surroundings.
The build stage presents different risks to builders, construction workers and members of the public, all which mostly involve the use of heat or the dangers of working at height. Blow-torches used by plumbers or open boilers used by flat roofers for pitch can ignite buildings or material and cause serious loss through fire.
Bricklayers working at height may easily slip and be seriously injured or knock a wheelbarrow full of cement onto a passer-by. similarly scaffolding has been known to collapse in high winds.
Fortunately for builders and building trades business, specialist builders insurance exists to cover all potential risks that a small builder, medium-sized building firm or large building contractor would face.
All building and construction trades can be covered including Air Conditioning engineers, Electricians, Fabricators, Plumbers, Bricklayers, General Builders, Roofers, Carpenters, Joiners, Ground Workers, Labourers, Window and Door Fitters, Scaffolders, Damp Proofers, Heating & Ventilation engineers, Skip Hirers, Demolition workers, Kitchen Fitter, Bathroom Fitters, Painters and Decorators and Lift Engineers to name but a few of the construction tradesman insurance schemes available.
Builders Insurance covers all liabilities for which the builder may be sued. This includes public liability insurance which covers damage or injury caused to other people or property through the negligence of the builder or one of his employees. Without this cover in place even the biggest builder could face crippling damages and costs awarded against him in a court.
A building trades insurance package will also contain provision to cover against being sued by employees and sub-contractors who may have an accident at work. This is known as employers liability insurance and is required by law if you employ any staff even on a temporary basis, such as labourers.
Aside from liability to the public and employees, the biggest threat that a builder or building tradesman will face on site is the theft of tools and equipment essential to carry out the works. Most builders insurance liability packages contain an option to protect these vital pieces of equipment on a replacement indemnity basis, the appropriate level of which can be set by the builder.