QBE is supporting charity, Backcare, and manual handling experts, Pristine Condition Ltd, in their bid to reduce back injuries in the construction industry.
Despite extensive efforts to reduce the need for manual handling in the construction sector, it is an unavoidable component of activities undertaken at most sites and remains one of the biggest causes of injury and lost time; primarily due to poor lifting and handling practices.
QBE’s own experience shows that manual handling accounts for approximately 25% of employers’ liability claims. Of those, two out of three will be settled in the claimant’s favour at an average cost of £10,000 per claim, making this a real issue for both employers and insurers in the construction sector.
The industry’s Skills Certification Scheme, designed to ensure operators are appropriately prepared for site work, does not adequately cover manual handling. Consequently, Pristine Condition and Backcare, with the support of QBE, have developed a “train the trainer” programme specifically addressing manual handling and targeting sub-contractors and small to medium sized construction companies. The programme fulfils employers’ legal duties and can assist in the prevention and defensibility of claims.
Having attended the day-long training course, a company’s representative would return to ‘pass on the principles’ learned to the rest of their organisation. To support with the dissemination of the training, representatives receive a ‘Construction Pack’ which includes a lesson plan, a DVD covering a huge spectrum of construction related tasks demonstrating correct manual handling techniques and risk assessment materials and support.
Mark Black, Senior Risk Manager at QBE, said “QBE are proud to be supporting Pristine Condition and Backcare in making this initiative happen. It will provide much needed information and resources particularly to sub-contractors and SMEs who currently find it difficult to address their manual handling exposures due to costs and logistics.”
Davy Snowdon, Managing Director for Pristine Condition adds “Manual lifting and handling continues to be one of the biggest causes of accidents and injuries within the construction sector. The launch of our ‘Construction Pack’ will provide not only a cost effective, but realistic and achievable approach to this long standing problem.”