Marine traders appear to be under closer scrutiny by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). A recent series of client visits by IRCM has revealed that surprise inspections of operators in the Sector by HSE are becoming commonplace.  Traders who have recently experienced inspections have told IRCM that inspectors have advised them that the HSE is specifically targeting the Sector.

This initiative should come as no surprise because businesses that employ manufacturing processes such as those seen in the boatbuilding industry, as well as those where heavy lifting equipment and work at height are common, such as boatyards and marinas, are frequently inspected. What may surprise traders is that the discovery of a material health and safety breach during the inspection means the business has to pay for the cost of the whole inspection – the current rate being £129 per hour.  One small boatbuilder we spoke to incurred costs of over £500.

What is becoming apparent is that some marine business owners are not aware of the many requirements incumbent upon them as directors or managers. The best way for Business owners to protect themselves and their managers in the event of an investigation and/or prosecution by the HSE is to avoid getting into that situation in the first place.

Of course, in some cases, no matter how good a company’s risk assessments, method statements and general operational systems are, they might still face prosecution from the HSE, or at least an investigation through which they may or may not emerge free of further action.

Nevertheless, the first step is to ensure those systems are in place and are as robust as they can be. However, no matter how good you set your systems up, the sheer amount of changes in legislation could mean you miss a crucial amendment that affects your statutory duties as a company director.  The good news for company directors, is that they can keep up to date with the latest risk management news, employee legislation and health & safety updates if you as clients of IRCM.  For further details call us on 01902 796 793

IRCM have released a special Management Protection Edition of their Bowline Marine Trades Insurance News that highlights some of the main issues affecting Marine Traders in 2016, including:

If you would like a copy of the Special Management Protection Edition of the Bowline Newsletter please ‘phone Mark Elcocks at IRCM on 01902 796 793 or email