Workers in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector are five times more likely to be injured than any other sector according to figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Keeping yourself and your staff safe is critical to ensure business sustainability and profitability. Even minor injuries can result in significant time off, so minimising those risks safeguards staff and your business.
Risk assessments are central to capturing potential hazards and putting in place measures to protect workers and the public, prior to any work taking place. As experts in arboriculture insurance, Arborisk provides insight to the importance of risk controls and what happens when it is not conducted.
Protection from a risky sector
Injuries at work are significantly higher in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector than any other industry with an average of 27 deaths annually and more then 12,000 workplace injuries. The HSE figures are daunting, with injuries, both fatal and non-fatal being the highest of any other sector. In fact, it is five times higher than the closest sector – construction.
Many of the common causes of fatalities and injuries can easily be avoided by careful planning. These include being struck by moving vehicles, falling from height, or being struck by either a moving or falling object. Recognising how common these injuries are for Arborists is just the first step – we all know someone who has been injured at work. Could this have been prevented?
Better protection for tree surgeons can be achieved with thorough risk assessments. Followed by the implementation of relevant safety measures at every job.
Risk Assessments protect your staff
Risk Assessments are often viewed as a tick box exercise. A standard template is usually the basis in which the boxes are ticked off without paying much attention.
This short-sighted approach may take care of the paperwork and moves you on to doing the actual job, but it can leave you open to danger – in the form of injury, business disruption and even negligence.
A Risk Assessment is designed to ensure that you always have a considered approach to your work. Identifying all the potential hazards and working out how to better protect from an accident or incident occurring, ensures that you are aware of any potential problems. It puts you in control to minimise those risks. Whether that is using signage, ensuring correctly trained staff are undertaking the work, protective clothing is worn, or location dangers are taken into account, etc.
Without appropriate consideration of the risks faced, the potential for something to go wrong is significantly greater. In fact, saying you have done something by ticking a box, which in fact you haven’t, can open you up to litigation for negligence.
Minimise business downtime risk
Risk Assessments support a more efficient business – you have less injured workers off whilst rehabilitating and do not have staff taken up dealing with jobs that have gone wrong, which can be stressful. It results in less business downtime, as work undertaken will be properly planned and is often completed more efficiently, with fewer breakages or broken equipment.
A job done using well thought out methods and Risk Assessments also builds trust with customers, giving you a reputation of a reliable and professional business.
The HSE suggests a five-step approach to risk assessments. 1. Identify hazards; 2. Who could be harmed; 3. Evaluate the level of risk; 4. Record findings; 5. Regularly review & update. This model provides the knowledge and learning for arborists to do their job better.
Having extensive evaluation at every job, enables forward planning. This will result in less injuries across your workforce and minimise other business disruption from lack of planning. Safeguard your business with effective risk assessment controls.
Arborisk Tree Surgeon Insurance offers a comprehensive arborist cover, with options to include tools and equipment, and add a no height limit. With more than 3,000 customers, Arborisk understands the unique risks faced by the sector and the right insurance needed for professional tree surgeons. Visit www.arborisk.co.uk or call 01132 593560 for a quote today.