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What is manual handling in the workplace?

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

Manual handling at work is legislated under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work regulations 2007.

It is a physical activity that takes place in every workplace, and in some cases the activity does not pose any problem. However, it can be a potential workplace hazard when a team member is required to handle very heavy loads, which could result in a back injury. The type of manual handling activity that needs to be assessed is defined in Regulation 68 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work, (General Application) Regulations 2007:

“Manual Handling involves any transporting or supporting of any load by one or more employees, and includes lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving a load, which by reason of its characteristics or unfavourable ergonomic conditions, involves risk, particularly of back injury, to employees.”

The regulations outline the requirements that must be adhered to, which include:

* Carrying out a manual handling risk assessment of existing manual handling tasks before making an informed decision on what manual handling tasks need to be avoided or reduced.

* Organising tasks to allow the use of mechanical or other means to avoid or reduce the need for the manual handling of loads by employees in the workplace. The hazards can be avoided or reduced through the introduction of appropriate organisational measures, for example; improved layout of a work area to reduce unnecessary long carrying distances; or the use of appropriate means, in particular mechanical equipment.

* Providing instruction and training to relevant staff.

Manual handling training

Training can be adapted to reflect the duties performed from factory settings to restaurants and hotels.

A manual handling assessment can ensure the team know how to go about their duties in a safe and timely manner. Objects that are relatively light can still pose a risk of injury. This is especially the case if they haven’t had the right training.

Refresher training should be at intervals not more than every three years and when there is any major change in the work involved or equipment used or when a team member is transferred to another activity requiring different loads to be handled.

From an insurance perspective the evidence of manual handling training can be an invaluable document when defending a claim.

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What kind of insurance cover do offices need?

By John Healy of Healy Insurances As the COVID restrictions are eased and workers return to offices what kind of insurance cover do offices need? A broad outline of covers would include: Material damage cover for buildings: fixtures and fittings, stock, computers and equipment, and other assets that your business owns. Covers will include fire, […]

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

As the COVID restrictions are eased and workers return to offices what kind of insurance cover do offices need?

A broad outline of covers would include:

Material damage cover for buildings: fixtures and fittings, stock, computers and equipment, and other assets that your business owns. Covers will include fire, flood, escape of water, theft, and storm amongst other perils. Cover extensions are available such as fire brigade charges, signage and equipment in transit.

Money cover: Loss of money cover is usually standard up to €5,000 for cash and cheques. The amount of cash covered can be increased depending on safe and security details. Personal assault cover can be included when carrying cash to the bank.

Employers, Public and Products Liability: All office and surgery policies include liability cover. Employer’s Liability is covered up to €13 million and can be rated on employee numbers and/or wages. Worldwide cover can be arranged for employees working temporarily overseas.

Public liability: covers your legal liability in the event that you are negligent and required to pay compensation for bodily injuries or damage to third party property. Projected turnover will determine the rate charged. Products liability provides cover if a third party is injured by a product that you have sold.

Business interruption: covers consequential loss of gross profits following an insured event such as a fire. It is important to review your gross profits sum insured on an annual basis. Some office policies are written on a gross annual fees basis rather than gross profit so it is vital to get the correct advice.

Other covers available can include computer breakdown, cyber insurance, employer’s liability extension for a locum medical practitioner, personal accident, commercial legal protection, Revenue Commissioners investigations and many more. Many businesses will require professional indemnity in addition to an office policy.

A robust risk management structure can achieve more attractive rates and should include annual health and safety statement reviews, fire safety procedures, CCTV usage, and risk assessments.

Your policy should be tailored to your individual needs, so it pays to get expert advice from professionals who take the time to understand your business.

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House prices are 9.1% higher than a year ago

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY The Daft.ie house price report for Q3 2021 has just been published and it shows that house prices rose by 1% between June and September this year – and are now 9.1% higher than a year ago. Over the last number of years, property search engine Daft.ie has collected a […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

The Daft.ie house price report for Q3 2021 has just been published and it shows that house prices rose by 1% between June and September this year – and are now 9.1% higher than a year ago.

Over the last number of years, property search engine Daft.ie has collected a vast amount of data on the Irish property market. Each year tens of thousands of properties for sale or rent are advertised on the site.

Some of the key findings of the recent report are:

* House prices are now 9% higher than a year ago – which is an increase of €23,954 in only 12 months
* Inflation outside cities is highest, with prices rising by 13%
* The total number of properties available to buy on September 1 was just below 12,700, up slightly from levels recorded earlier in the year, but one of the lowest figures recorded since the rise of advertising properties for sale online
* The average price nationwide in the third quarter of 2021 was €287,704, 22% below the Celtic Tiger peak but three quarters above its lowest point in 2012.

The national trend hides regional differences. In Dublin, prices rose by 4.9% in the year to September, the slowest rate of inflation in a year. In the other major cities, prices rose by similar magnitudes – from 3.1% year-on-year in Galway to 8.4% in Limerick city. Outside the main cities, inflation remains significantly higher, with prices rising by an average of 12.9% year-on-year. The largest annual increases were in Mayo and Leitrim, where prices are more than 20% above their level a year ago.

Despite an uptick in listings, the total availability of homes for sale nationwide on September 1 was one third lower than the same date a year earlier and a little over half the amount for sale in September 2019.

Across Munster, listed prices increased by an average of 1.2% between July and September, down from 8.5% in the previous quarter

The jump in prices in Q2 means that prices in Munster are now 13.6% higher than a year previously.
There were just over 3,800 properties on the market in Munster on September 1, down from 5,600 on the same date a year ago.

Reflecting the impact of COVID-19 last year, there were 22% more transactions in Munster in the six months to July 2021 than the same period a year earlier: 6,455 compared to 5,286.

“It appears inflation has eased a bit and there has been a modest improvement in the number of homes available to buy,” Ted Healy of DNG Ted Healy said. “However, the underlying issues remain. The stock for sale remains well below pre-COVID-19 levels, while many parts of the country are still seeing prices that are at least 10% higher than a year ago. Additional supply remains key to solving Ireland’s chronic housing shortage. The Government’s ‘Housing for All’ plan contains a welcome boost in social housing activity but rising construction costs, the key determinant of viability, simply must be addressed.”

Average list price and year-on-year change – major cities, 2021 Q3

Dublin City: €399,323 – up 4.9%
Cork City: €307,464 – up 5.8%
Galway City: €316,060 – up 3.1%
Limerick City: €230,585 – up 8.4%
Waterford City: €204,759 – up 6.3%

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