The job of a health and safety consultant is to provide professional advice and recommendations on how businesses, public institutions and various other types of organisations can best create a safe and healthy environment for their workforce and members of the public.
However, if you work within this consultancy field, it’s also important to ensure that you protect yourself with comprehensive insurance for health and safety consultants.
Getting into consultancy is a lucrative endeavour – especially if you’re providing essential expertise that is universally sought after by firms wanting to avoid trouble with the law. With this kind of responsibility, though, comes a lot of risk.
Health and safety law is a complicated subject to tackle for many business owners and SMEs in particular often require a considerable amount of guidance in order to adhere to the required standards.
Here are some of the main reasons why H&S consultants need specialised insurance packages:
There’s a higher risk of litigation associated with the job
Of all the consultancy fields, health and safety consultants are particularly vulnerable to professional negligence claims. In fact, statistics show that this type of consultancy is one of the fields most at risk of litigation.
This is why professional indemnity insurance is an essential element of the protection needed. This covers any loss of trade and earnings incurred as a result of a claim, along with footing the potentially huge bill for legal services and representation.
There is often a misconception that claims for professional negligence come as a direct result of incompetence. This is often far from the case.
Being sued for professional negligence CAN happen to you
A number of scenarios can easily result in even the most astute of consultants being put in this position. You might have carried out the highest quality of work possible with the utmost vigilance, yet a disagreement with an awkward client could result in a retributive and completely unfounded claim being made against you.
The important factor to remember is that you’re still going to need financial cover and legal support to get an unjustified claim quashed.
On the other side of the spectrum, maybe you’ve made an honest mistake. Everybody fails, makes a mistake or misses an important detail at some point in their career but you might just be unlucky that this results in legal action.
If you accept your liability for losses suffered by a client as a result of services you provided, the PI insurance is key in securing a strong legal team that can negotiate a settlement out of court; thus minimising damage to your business and reputation.
Other heathy and safety consultancy cover you don’t want to miss
Besides PI insurance, other integral components include personal injury cover to provide protection should you be involved in an accident while carrying out your duties. This helps you get by financially if you’re unable to work for the duration of your recovery.
Public liability is another important aspect to include that covers claims made if a third party is injured or becomes ill as a result of your services.
If you employ one of more people, even under an informal part-time arrangement, you’re legally obligated to have employers liability insurance included in your plan. Consultants working from an office or designated building will need contents cover.