Diamond Drillers Liability Insurance

19/06/2013 -- Mary Simpson
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Diamond drilling contractors and sub-contractors work in every kind of environment - construction sites, offices, shopping centres, hospitals, hotels, schools, roads and docks.

Generally viewed as a high risk occupation, it’s vital you have comprehensive insurance cover for your business.

Public Liability Cover

From small jobs such as wall chasing work in a shop premises to demolishing bridges or reinforcing sea walls, each brings its own risk due to the potential for damage to property, injury to people or pollution of the environment.

Public liability insurance is designed to protect your business against these types of risks and any resulting claims for damages.

If you supply specialist drilling, sawing and demolition services then plant maintenance will be crucial to the success of any claim, as will strict adherence to health and safety.

Employers Liability Cover

Employers liability insurance protects your business's legal liabilities to meet claims from employees who fall sick, are injured or die as a result of their employment.

Employees include anyone who works for you, including contract workers and apprentices.

Labour-only subcontractors are generally considered employees. If you hire bona fide sub-contractors ensure that the legal relationship between you and them is crystal clear, i.e., it is a contract  for service as opposed to a contract of service.

Things that could go wrong:

  • A worker is fatally injured when his clothing becomes entangled in a rotating drill rod.
  • A workman is left with serious first degree burns after drilling through a live underground power cable and nearby properties are left without power.

Performance Bond Insurance

Often drilling contractors are given short notice of a contract start date - sometimes just 48 hours or less.

Strict deadlines mean that failure of a concrete cruncher or robotic demolition machine could lose you the contract or incur heavy financial penalties, so as well as engineering plant cover, it may be worth considering Performance Bond Insurance.

Things to look out for

  • Diamond drillers can carry out complete demolition projects.   Make sure your insurance policy includes these as some insurers cover demolition works but only if they are part of a rebuilding contract.
  • You'll also probably rely heavily on subcontractors - gas and electrical contractors, waste disposal companies and skip hirers. Insurance clauses usually require you to check they have valid insurance otherwise you'll be in the frame if they make a mistake.
  • Check your policy for height and depth restrictions.
  • You'll probably need a hazardous location extension if you work in ports, docks, railways, etc.
  • If you're working in close proximity to other properties, it might be a condition of the policy that you take out insurance to cover damage to neighbouring buildings.

The Ground Forum (GF) is the industry voice for ground engineering sector.  Members include British Drilling Association, British Tunnelling Association, Federation of Piling Specialists, British Geotechnical Association and Pipe Jacking Association.

The Drilling & Sawing Association represents the diamond drilling and sawing industry.