Phil Barton, CEO at Partners& explains why prevention is better than cure

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Partners& Phil Barton, CEO

How resilient is your business to an HSE enforcement action?

The HSE touches every business, regardless of size or sector, and with new sentencing guidelines beginning to bite, the size and frequency of fines are increasing.

Taking proactive steps to find out what risk management gaps might exist in your business could very well prevent an HSE intervention. The last thing anyone needs is the experience of defending yourself or your colleagues against a HSE enforcement action.

A claims defensibility survey (CDS) will stress test your risk management practices and shine a spotlight on the strengths and weakness so you can take remedial action sooner rather than later.

Top 5 reasons to consider a claims defensibility survey

  1. Enforcement action An intervention

from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is one of the biggest risks to managing directors, CEOs and business owners today.

The aim of the HSE is to ensure the health and safety of employees in the workplace, and failure to comply with enforcement actions and the regulations could have serious consequences – both for

organisations and individuals.

  1. HSE Statistics

In 2020/21, there were 142 fatalities at work with fines issued by the HSE totalling £26.9 million. In the same year, 1.7 million workers reported work related ill health, and 441,000 sustained non-fatal injuries at work. [Source: Health and Safety Executive Statistics].

  1. Fees for intervention.

An invoice raised by the enforcement authorities for investigating any incident of their choosing (you don’t have to be in breach of regulations to succumb to an intervention) are on the rise.

  1. Imprisonment.

A cyber-attack can bring reputational damage, monetarily affect a P&L, and cause reputational damage.

However, enforcement action by the HSE can go a step further. For incidents resulting in personal injury, the HSE / CPS have powers which can result in the imprisonment for a Managing Director, CEO or business owner. Furthermore, employees and/or Health and Safety Officers can also find themselves implicated, in a personal capacity, in enforcement action.

  1. Litigation.

Liability claims pursued as a result of accidents at work are becoming increasingly difficult and costly for employers and their insurers to defend.

The pursuit of claims for compensation can result in the payment of significant sums, legal fees and a tarnished reputation – in the eyes of your employees, the public and insurers. Inflated claims reserves might also influence future premiums to be higher than they should be.

Boost your claims management and reduce exposure A claims defensibility survey involves a comprehensive assessment of your business from the inside out.  It will:

  • Identify the common claims brought against organisations in your sector
  • Provide an overall picture of the risks that you face
  • Enable you to proactively manage them in the future
  • Assist in establishing a process aimed at eliminating or mitigating risks before they give rise to an incident which may cause a claim
  • Work in combination with other risk management strategies in place (From an insurance perspective, a claims defensibility survey)
  • Offers insurers the confidence that an organisation is aware of the risks and is actively doing something about them
  • Demonstrates the company’s positive attitude towards risk management
  • Provides the insurer with a clear understanding of the risks faced.

“A claims defensibility survey will stress test your risk management practices and shine a spotlight on the strengths and weakness so you can take remedial action sooner rather than later.” – Phil Barton, CEO

The next conversation you have with your insurance adviser really should be about a claim’s defensibility survey.

A claims defensibility survey involves a comprehensive assessment of your business from the inside out.

For more information, visit

Bolton Bristol Cardiff Cambridge Coventry Godalming Hereford High Wycombe Lichfield Leeds London Nottingham Okehampton Oxford Plymouth Reading South Molton Stow-on-the-Wold

Partners& is a trading style of Partners& Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales. No 00497227.

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