Weekly Wrap: Insurer hosts corporate road safety workshop

Weekly Wrap: Insurer hosts corporate road safety workshop | Insurance Business

Weekly Wrap: Insurer hosts corporate road safety workshop
Insurer hosts corporate road safety workshop

Zurich has held its first corporate road safety workshop in conjunction with the Australasian Road Safety, Policing and Education Conference.

The workshop, aimed at logistics and transport clients, focuses on the human-related risks in road safety such as fatigue and distraction.

A number of Zurich collaborators were invited to speak at the workshop that was opened by Zurich’s global chief risk engineering officer, Robert Gremli.

Dr Adam Fletcher, of Integrated Safety Support, spoke at the event of the work he and his team have done to reduce accidents with their transport clients and stressing the risks involved in long-haul driving.

“You’ve got a monotonous task by nature, and you’ve got an individual, not a number of team members that can share the load. You can’t manipulate those realities but there are still ways to optimise safety and performance.

“A lot of it comes down to building contingencies into the work schedule, so that drivers can be empowered to use a flexible approach to the management of their rest breaks. It is safer and ultimately more productive to build in around 20% of the schedule as discretionary time for drivers.”

Dr Fletcher noted that the advent of technology will bring with it good prospects for improved road safety but warned that these changes will take time to take effect.

“We’ve seen quantum leaps in individual monitoring with a number of reliable systems that can be used in road transport cabs to monitor drivers and tell them things they are often not fully conscious of, about the state of their own alertness or the risk of them having a micro sleep.

“But while there have been huge jumps in the technology, there hasn’t been much successful progress with many companies’ ability to get long-term benefit. Real benefits will only build when there is a clear focus on simultaneously creating value for individual drivers, the operations, and the company itself.”

The workshop will run again in Sydney on November 27th.

Brewer in one of Australia’s largest pay-outs

Japanese brewer Asahi has announced a settlement of a staggering $199 million with Pacific Equity Partners, Unitas Capital and their insurers in one of the largest commercial damage cases in Australian history.

The claim comes from Asahi's purchase of Independent Liquor (IL) for, what the Japanese brewer believes, was an inflated price of $1.2 billion.

It is believed that AIG Insurance New Zealand, Beazley Solutions and Allied World Insurance have agreed to pay close to $138 million of the settlement according to the Sydney Morning Herald, with Pacfic Equity and Unitas Capital paying the balance.

Asahi were originally seeking $700 million in damages after alleging that the private equity firms involved had lied about the profitability of IL, forcing the brewer into paying an inflated price.

"It's a fair settlement in that no one is happy; it's all about shared degrees of pain," one lawyer involved in the case said.

Flood mitigation planned from insurance sell-off

The Northern Territory government would spend $50 million from the proposed sale of the Territory Insurance Office (TIO) on flood mitigation in at-risk areas, according to reports.

Areas such as Katherine and the Darwin suburb of Rapid Creek and other rural areas around the state capital would see the majority of funding, according to the ABC.

A final decision on the sale, which has caused outcry in the Northern Territory, is expected over the coming days as protestors have reportedly had banks accounts closed as they attempt to fundraise.

Simon Smith, founder of Save Our TIO which is protesting the sale, told the AAP that Commonwealth Bank in Palmerston closed their account because they “didn’t support the campaign and didn’t want to be associated with it in any way, shape or form.”

Chief Minister Adam Giles supports the sale and, if a decision is made to sell, will try to push through legislation as quickly as possible in an attempt to suspend debate and pass the motion in a matter of days.

An announcement from Giles is expected early next week.