- Insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting firm Gallagher has introduced RiskTalk, a voice-operated risk assessment tool for construction businesses – the first of its kind in the UK
- The app is suitable for phones or tablet devices, and removes the need for construction firms to complete lengthy paperwork and enter data manually when carrying out risk assessments, with users conducting the process through recording voice notes
- The tool cuts down on the time and effort required by construction businesses to undertake health and safety duties with the average UK firm currently spending the equivalent of 36 days a year completing risk assessments
- However, despite this time commitment and the associated cost, many UK firms (49%) admit they are concerned they are not carrying out risk assessments thoroughly enough
- Two thirds of businesses (68%) claim the current manual way of completing risk assessment is complicated, leading to concerns they may not have an adequate defense in the event of an incident
- Failure to complete comprehensive risk assessments can lead to significant Health and Safety Executive (HSE) penalties for construction firms – with £64 million worth of fines paid by businesses in the sector over the last five years[i] – [i] https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables/prosecutions.xlsx
Insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting firm Gallagher has introduced RiskTalk – a user-friendly voice-operated risk assessment app – to help construction businesses cut down on the time and expense of undertaking workplace safety assessments, and benefit from increased reporting reliability.
The health and safety app helps construction businesses perform fast and efficient risk assessments to manage the risks on site to the health, safety and welfare of their employees and visitors to their premises.
The app allows users to record observations and report hazards by simply speaking into their phone or a tablet device – removing the need for completing lengthy paperwork. Through a set of prescribed questions, RiskTalk guides users through the process of assessing and identifying risks present in the work environment, and detailing how they will control them.
RiskTalk also makes theprocess much easier for managers to review risk assessments. Users can take photos in-app and send recorded voice memos straight to a cloud storage system, with managers able to approve assessments by using a voice sign-off feature.
Reports can be generated via the app avoiding the need for a lengthy data entry process which can then be converted to PDF files if hard copies are required. In-built speech recognition technology can understand and process recordings in 220 languages to ensure it is accessible for a wide range of users.
All entries are time, date and author stamped – making it easy in the case of a health and safety-related incident to locate risk assessments to prove they were completed in full prior to the event occurring.
The app works offline – allowing users to conduct risk assessments and store data while working in areas with limited or no network coverage.
Undertaking risk assessments is a significant time commitment for businesses and research commissioned by Gallagher, conducted last month among 200 UK firms, found that one in two companies (49%) are concerned they are not carrying out risk assessments thoroughly enough to protect their organisation, employees and clients – potentially leaving them without a strong defence in the event of legal actions, insurance claims and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) enforcement action.
Cost was highlighted as another frustration among businesses regarding the completion of risk assessments. Over two fifths of firms (45%) feel that completing risk assessments is an expensive process – costing their business an average of £1,500 a year. This could be due to paying wages for employees undertaking assessments or for contractors who need to be paid to do them.
Neil Hodgson, Managing Director of Risk Management at Gallagher, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing this innovative risk assessment tool to UK construction businesses. It is easy to use, makes the process of undertaking risk assessments quicker and more reliable, and firms within the sector will benefit from increased peace of mind that in the event of an incident they are more likely to have a robust defence.
“This is particularly important when you take into account that half of UK firms are unsure whether they are completing the risk assessment process correctly. Evidence of risk assessments carried out and the steps taken to mitigate any identified risks can be crucial for construction firms in the defence of an insurance claim for personal injury or illness, or intervention by the HSE or other regulatory authority. Penalties can be severe – with the average fine paid by construction businesses across the past five years costing £86,000.”
For further information, visit https://www.ajg.com/uk/risktalk/