News & Media


Mike Smith
Haulage Scheme Underwriter
12th February 2019

Mike Smith, Haulage Scheme Underwriter at THB Group, encourages UK freight and transport companies to be more focused on accident prevention.

First, some insightful statistics from the UK Health & Safety Executive:

  • 555,000 injuries occurred at work according to the HSE Labour Force Survey
  • 71,062 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR*
  • 7 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £15 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2016/17)

Whilst at the same time the Association for British Insurers (ABI) reported that insurance companies detected 125,000 dishonest claims valued at £1.3 billion in 2017.

In the insurance industry claims handling can be a long and complicated process exacerbated by a rise in what people call ‘claims culture’ (often shortened to ‘compo culture’) a negative term implying that a significant number of claims are unjustified, trivial, or fraudulent, and that those who seek compensation should be criticised.

At THB we’re not in the business of criticism but we are aware that in some cases a rogue or disgruntled employee or a company’s lackadaisical approach to health and safety, all result in an increase in claims. In some cases, we can even see a pattern within a particular organisation that needs further investigation.

Driving Health & Safety

Unlike Public Liability claims for people suffering accidents in a public place, Employers’ Liability Claims are for employees who are either injured in accidents at work or whose health has deteriorated as a consequence of poor working practices. The latter are often the fault of squeezed margins in the freight and haulage sector and tight deadlines placing undue stress on employees to deliver on time.

Unfortunately, in the drive for profitability, health and safety takes a back seat… often without a seatbelt. Corners get cut, induction and training courses are ignored, and standards drop. Accidents become inevitable.

But such short termism is a recipe for disaster, whether it’s for a transport fleet or a small delivery firm who rely upon a Goods in Transit policy for protection. The increase in delivery services in the retail sector bring their extra problems as do those posed by the ‘GIG’ economy with organisations employing independent workers for short-term engagements.

At THB we’ve partnered with Cardinus Risk Management, a leading health, safety and risk management specialist, offering online and on-site solutions for all areas of your business. Thousands of organisations use Cardinus services to reduce work-related discomfort, minimise accidents and injury, increase employee productivity and comply with legislation.

We urge all companies operating in the freight and haulage sectors to have a close look at their Health and Safety policy procedures and training. Below I’ve listed some organisations that offer support and advice in Health & Safety at work. Stay safe!

Health & Safety Executive

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Freight Transport Association:

Road Haulage Association:

*RIDDOR – Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013