Understanding the true nature of risks is one element that allows brokers to offer a unique service and reach clients with a deeper level of understanding. That’s why for those brokers who work in the contracting sector, the chance to gain more knowledge about the risk factors involved in the use of heat and hot works throughout the roofing industry is not to be overlooked.
Now, a training programme has kicked off designed specifically for brokers from ECIC, the specialist insurer, and the National Federation of Roofing Contractors.
The first training session, attended by 24 brokers, took place at the Briggs Amasco centre in the West Midlands and was presented by Gary Walpole, the Single Ply Roofing Association’s Training Manager. Brokers were given a first-hand opportunity to learn the risks associated with the use of a naked flame, highlighting the importance of encapsulating timber and other combustible materials before hot works commence. The training also covered contractor safety in the context of CDM 2015, permits-to-work, hotwork permits, safety schemes in procurement (SSIP) as well as competent persons schemes.
John Flaherty, business development executive for ECIC, believes it’s crucial that brokers gain as much knowledge as they can about this sector.
“Brokers play a vital role in supporting contractors’ risk management, particularly smaller businesses who don’t have risk management resources of larger firms at their disposal,” he said. “They can only really do this effectively if they fully understand the scope and type of risks their customers face day in day out. While most training offered by insurers focus on the soft skills such as sales and marketing, we believe it is our duty to help build brokers’ technical expertise through free, CPD approved training programmes. We hope the insights gained both on a practical and theoretical basis, will have a positive impact roofers’ safety, going forward.”
Certainly the training had a positive effect on Zena Tabboth from PRS (Insurance Services) Ltd.
“Unless you have worked in roofing, it takes time to fully appreciate the risks inherent in the work, particularly in light of recent regulatory changes,” she said. “The training was comprehensive and hugely insightful, and included a practical session on gas torches and their different safety mechanisms. I came away from the day with a much deeper understanding of the risks my clients encounter, as well as the ways in which those risks can be mitigated. This is all valuable knowledge in our efforts to retain existing relationships and build new business opportunities.”
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