22 June 2018

Tis the season .... for accidents and pay dirt for thieves

| Jenni Rowland
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Construction gear.

Watch out for those nasty work accidents and security breaches before you wrap up for Christmas.

You may not be ready for Christmas yet, and chances are your business isn’t either. While the lead-up to Christmas is hectic and patience can run short despite the overflow of festive cheer, the prospect of an extended break from the office is seen by most workers as the light at the end of the tunnel.

Greg Johnston from Austbrokers Canberra says the last quarter of the year typically sees an increase in injury claims in the construction industry due to distraction and the pressure to complete as many jobs as possible before downing tools for the year.

“As insurance brokers, we see first-hand the pressures our construction clients face as a result of the silly season. While these pressures are part of most workplaces, it’s important to implement protection and safety precautions,” he said.

According to WorkSafe Victoria, November and December are the most dangerous months with more workers dying in the lead up to Christmas than at any other time of the year. While ACT has only had one workplace fatality in 2017, Greg says these results highlight the real risk that distraction and injury pose to ACT workers.

“Work environment and physical dangers are just some of the many variables that threaten the construction industry. It’s important to remember your team’s welfare is of utmost importance and it’s vital to put the necessary protections in place.”

The festive season also happens to fall at the time of year when heat, bushfires and extreme storms are prevalent. The last thing you want is to receive a phone call on your summer holidays to tell you that fire has destroyed your home or workplace, or hail and heavy winds have damaged your expensive plant and equipment.

So that you can relax and switch off, your insurance broker can advise how to safeguard your valuable assets before you wrap up for the year. Greg says one of the main things to consider is if your level of cover is adequate for any new assets that you have purchased during the year.

“Underinsurance is a real risk to Australian businesses, with exposure having the potential to cripple financially. It’s important to check in with your insurance broker regularly and provide details on any new machinery, tools or equipment,” Greg said.

Just like your health insurance needs change over time, so too do your business needs. Ideally, Greg says you should reassess all your business requirements annually.

“Business growth, staffing numbers, and services are some of the common changes we see. It’s important that your level of cover reflects these changes.”

The other primary concern over the Christmas period is the opportunity that unattended building sites present would-be thieves. With the average cost of any one piece of equipment on construction sites being upwards of $100,000, theft and damage can have a genuine impact on project cost and completion dates. Your insurance broker can provide valuable advice on security and staffing levels over the summer period.

In addition to the risk physical environmental factors present, in a world that is becoming increasingly digital, there is also your intellectual property and assets to consider. Your website and client database are two of your most significant assets.

Cybercriminals are rife over the festive season as most business owners have their focus elsewhere. Ensuring your digital assets are protected is just as important as any other asset.

If you hadn’t stopped to consider your online safety and how exposed your data and information may be, now is the perfect time to assess your insurance requirements. Digital security goes way beyond virus protection.

This Christmas shutdown checklist from Access Canberra will ensure that nothing is overlooked before you log off and sign-out on Christmas Eve so you can relax knowing that your business is in safe hands and you can start 2018 well prepared.

For more information on Austbrokers Canberra, follow them on Twitter: @AustbrokersCBR.

This is a sponsored article, though all opinions are the author’s own. For more information on paid content, see our sponsored content policy.

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