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Plant Operators Liability Insurance

Plant Operators In The Construction Industry

Plant Operators are one of the many areas of the construction industry where growth is predicted over the next few years, and is a key sector of the construction industry.

Rigorous standards and training are required to ensure safety when handling and operating heavy machinery, and so it is vital that companies both large and small have the appropriate and adequate insurance cover in place.

Plant operators are trained to use a range of different machines, including cherry pickers, tower wagons, tower and mobile cranes, excavators and diggers.

An additional factor is also that plant mechanics and operators make sure that their machinery and plant needed on site is working properly and being maintained, we will be covering this in our blog next week, which is an important role by ensuring that equipment meets the tough demands of the industry and complies with the law.

Training & Requirements

The Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) most recognised card scheme for the plant industry.

Having a CPCS card helps to prove that a plant operator has the required skills and the health and safety awareness needed to work safely.

Companies, such as the CITB & NPORS offer a range of training opportunities, whether operators are looking to start a career or learning new skills to help progression.

What You Should Know

Nearly all equipment used at work is subject to the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), which place duties on employers, the relevant self-employed and those who control work equipment. If you are self-employed and your work poses no risk to the health and safety of others, then health and safety law may not apply to you.  HSE has guidance to help you understand if the law applies. Work equipment may also be subject to more specific legislation, for example:

  • the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER)
  • the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

In addition to the general requirements applicable to most work equipment, PUWER covers in particular:

  • the risks from riding on and controlling mobile work equipment
  • operator visibility
  • protection from falling objects and from rolling over
  • restraint systems (seat belts, etc)
  • inspection / thorough examination of power presses

For more information about working at height [click here].

Insurance Policies

Due to the type of work involved and the various units plant operators operate in the trade, it is vital that the insurance policy incepted is fit for purpose.  It is important to ensure the occupation shown on the policy documents clearly state the policyholders primary occupation, such as ‘plant operator’ or ‘heavy plant operator’, ‘builder’ or ‘ground worker’.  Many insurance companies will show multiple occupations on the schedule, as so to ensure the appropriate occupation is shown.

Secondly, all endorsements must be checked thoroughly and cross checked with the policy wording.  It is here where the insurance company will confirm items such as ‘third party working risks’ (insurers accepting liability arising out of the use of plant and machinery), depth and height limits for the selected trades, and details concerning restrictions of high risk operations.

Liability Insurance Policy Wording

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance indemnifies and protects against claims in respect of your legal liability for personal injury or property damage sustained by third parties and property, arising during the course of the policy.  The policy pays and awards claims that are made against you and also meets the cost of any legal defence of any claim.

Unlike Employers Liability, Public Liability is not a legal requirement, however, most customers and contractors insist on this cover being in place.  Public Liability insurance safeguards your business and ensures you don’t have to pay significant amounts for damages in the event of a claim where you are deemed liable. It also demonstrates to workers and customers that you have their safety and convenience in mind.

Advice For Agency Workers

If you solely work via an agency (regardless if you are a Limited company or sole trader) you may or may not have a requirement for liability insurance.

Some contractors are deemed as Labour Only Subcontractors (LOSC) operating vehicles/plant and take instruction as to how to perform a particular job.  If this is the case, you MAY be insured under the contractors policy for whom you are working for as a Labour Only Sub-Contractor.

Insurance companies class Labour Only Contractors the same as direct employees and will offer cover for liability under the primary contractors own liability insurance, as the primary contractor suppling the work has a duty of care towards you.

However, if you are self-employed you may be classified as a Bona-Fide Subcontractor (BFSC), in which case you will require liability insurance.

For more information, please contact us or speak to your employer for clarification

Liability Insurance Quotations

Please feel free to contact us on 01159303030 for a quotation or request a callback from a member of our team.

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