Most Dangerous Jobs in the UK

Most of us don’t have to worry about risk when we go to work every morning. People who work in offices or shops would never say that they have a risky job, and if asked to list risky occupations you’d probably think of jobs like being a stuntman or a deep sea diver. However, the list of occupations where you are most likely to be injured or killed throws up some surprisingly normal jobs.

Farming and Fishing

By far the most dangerous job in the UK in terms of the chance of being injured is being a farmer or a deep sea fisherman. In 2011, 34 people died working on farms in the UK, in accidents involving being crushed by large animals, machinery like tractors or falls from heights. The Health And Safety Executive are trying to address the high number of agricultural injuries by improving training and safety standards on farms. If you choose to go to sea for a living, you are 50 times more likely to die at work than people in other occupations.

Building

The risks involved with working in the building industry are fairly obvious. The job is a combination of working at heights on ladders, using heavy items and potentially dangerous machinery and tools. Over a quarter of all deaths at work take place on building sites, even though construction only employs 5% of UK workers. In addition, construction workers are far more likely to suffer from problems caused by exposure to substances like asbestos in the past.

Mining

Underground mining is not as large an employer as it was in times past, but it is still classed as a risky industry to work in. Accidents such as cave ins or underground explosions are often fatal, and exposure to dust can cause long term health problems too. Open cast mining is less risky, but there are still dangers associated with operating heavy machinery.

Oil Rigs

Working on board an oil rig is a well-paid occupation, partly due to the isolation and partly because of the risks involved. Safety on a rig is paramount, but there is no getting away from the fact that taking oil or gas out of the sea bed has potential for devastating fires and explosions. The weather is another factor which raises the risk, and the remote locations mean that it is not always possible to get workers off the rigs immediately when there is an emergency.

5 More Tips for Healthy Living in the UK

We all know the basics of what we should be doing to have a healthier lifestyle. The messages about stopping smoking, eating a healthy balanced diet and taking regular exercise are getting through, but there is always more that can be done to improve our lifestyles and keep us healthy.

Drinking

There is a huge misunderstanding around how much alcohol is healthy to drink and the stark truth is that we are all still drinking too much. Everyone should aim to have two or three alcohol-free days per week, and on the other days drink no more than four units on any one day. Cutting down on alcohol lowers your calorie intake and also reduces your risk of conditions such as liver disease, certain types of cancer and lowers your blood pressure too.

Stress

The non-stop pace of modern living means that we are all coping with increasing stress levels and these can have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing. The first step in tackling stress is identifying that you are suffering from it, and then making changes in your lifestyle which tackle the factors which are causing you stress and anxiety. A stressful lifestyle can cause recurrent headaches, problems with blood pressure and insomnia.

Sunscreen

We have become increasingly aware of the risks of over exposure to the sun in recent years, but skin cancer rates are skill growing in the UK. Reduce your risk by always using a high factor sunscreen on yourself and your children and make an effort to stay out of the sun in the middle of the day. Sun beds should be avoided as the concentration of rays is more dangerous than exposure to the sun.

Fibre

Although calorie counting is the best way to keep your weight under control, it is important to make sure you are having enough fibre in your diet to keep your digestive system healthy. The best way to do this is by eating high fibre breakfast cereals, wholemeal bread and plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Testing

If you receive a letter inviting you for a mammogram, cervical smear or any other testing, make sure you keep your appointment. Many conditions are easily treatable when caught early, so always attend check-ups and do not hesitate to contact your doctor should you be worried about any aspect of your general health and wellbeing.

 

 

Why UK Small Businesses Should Consider Corporate Medical Insurance

When you are the owner of a small business, one of the many issues which you have to manage is the benefits and salary offered to employees. Although private medical insurance is something that in the past has only been offered by larger employers, there is a growing trend of smaller businesses taking out corporate medical insurance to cover their employees too, and there are a number of good reasons for this.

Disruption

In a large company with several hundred employees, having someone off sick can be managed by moving other employees around to cover their responsibilities. This is not so easy in a smaller company with just a handful of employees. Being able to offer employees the chance to get their medical problem dealt with quickly and cut the waiting time on the NHS means less disruption to the business and allows both the employer and the employee to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Staff Retention

Losing a member of staff and then trying to recruit a replacement is an expensive business, both in terms of the financial cost of placing and advert or using a recruitment agency, and in terms of time required to sift through applications and conduct interviews. Companies which offer attractive benefits such as private medical cover generally find it easier to retain employees, and a loyal, stable workforce is what every employer aspires to.

Absence

A certain level of absence due to sickness is unavoidable, but when absence is due to something more long term or serious than the usual coughs and colds, medical insurance can get your employees on their feet more quickly. If an employee is on a lengthy waiting list to have an operation on the NHS, there could well be several weeks or months of absence while they wait for the procedure to be carried out. Having treatment carried out privately means far less of a wait, minimizing absence and the impact on the business.

Top 5 Travel Destinations for Brits in 2013

If you’re yet to plan your summer holidays, it can be hard to know where to start when looking for inspiration. As with anything, holiday destinations come and go out of fashion, so as a starting point it’s  a good idea to take a glance through the most popular destinations when planning your trip.

Northern Spain

The mountains and lush green countryside of Northern Spain are often overlooked in the rush to the Mediterranean, but this coast has stunning beaches, pretty fishing villages and some of the most dramatic scenery in Europe. There are direct flights to Bilbao and Santander from UK airports, or you can take your car over on the ferry. Don’t miss the medieval village of Santillana del Mar or the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.

Corsica

One of the less developed Mediterranean islands, Corsica is sophisticated, historic and very French. The beaches are great for families and there is an abundance of holiday accommodation for all budgets. Try to avoid August unless you like the crowds as this is the time the French take their holidays.

New England

A little further afield, the New England area of the USA between Boston and New York has plenty to offer for holidaymakers looking for a relaxed fly-drive type of experience. There is no language barrier, and the area has everything from long sandy beaches to historic sites and some of the most vibrant cities in the world.

Umbria

Tuscany is the area of Italy which has traditionally been most popular with British holidaymakers, but neighbouring Umbria has just as much to offer and is practically untouched by tourists. Opt for a villa with its own pool which will provide a comfortable base for exploring the historic towns of the region such as Assisi or Perugia. Italy is a great place for a family-friendly holiday and nearly everywhere is very welcoming to children.

Dubrovnik

The Croatian city of Dubrovnik has left its turbulent past behind, and is now welcoming tourists back to see one of the most unspoiled medieval cities in the whole of Europe. Set on a stunning coastline, Dubrovnik has the perfect mix of culture and sightseeing, along with great food and the chance to take trips to neighbouring islands. There are direct flights from the UK, and hire a car to make the most of your chance to explore this beautiful corner of Europe.

 

6 Tips For a Healthy Lifestyle

More and more of us are taking out private health insurance policies which cover us either overseas, or for private medical treatment at home. The premium for these sorts of policies can vary hugely depending on the lifestyle choices we make. UK health insurance companies look at a wide range of factors, so what are the best things that we can do to lower our premiums and adopt a more healthy lifestyle?

  1. Stop smoking. Smoking is one of the biggest health risk factors out there, and in recognition that smokers will be more likely to need medical attention or fall seriously ill, it costs far more to insure the health of a regular smoker. It’s never too late to stop smoking, and there are lots of schemes available through your GP to give you all the help you need.
  2. Cut down on drinking. The old saying of “a little of what you fancy does you good” is often applied to alcohol, and there is evidence that drinking in moderation have positive benefits. Drinking to excess leads to all sorts of medical and health issues though, and as a nation the UK drinks too much. Cut down the number of units consumed through the week, and do not be tempted to binge at weekends.
  3. Exercise. Many of us don’t take enough exercise, and getting fitter will also keep us healthier too. Exercise doesn’t have to mean aerobics classes or pumping iron at the gym, little things like walking to work instead of taking the bus or using the stairs instead of always taking the lift can be enough.
  4. Eat better. We all know what constitutes a healthy diet, but many of us are still eating too many fatty foods and not having enough fruit and vegetables. The 5 a day rule for fruit and vegetables is an important guide, and we could all benefit from eating more fish and cutting down on red meat, dairy products and processed foods such as biscuits or ready meals.
  5. Reduce stress levels. Stress has been known to greatly affect how healthy we are, and people who have stressful jobs or do not handle pressure well are more likely to get ill. Identifying what is causing stress is the starting point, and help from other members of the family as well as colleagues and friends will be needed to reduce stress factors.
  6. Drink water. Few of us are keeping our bodies as hydrated as they need to be for optimum health, and experts recommend we should all be drinking around 3 litres of water per day. Staying hydrated will boost general health and keep you feeling in tip top condition.

10 Reasons Why Life Insurance Is An Absolute Must

The old saying goes that there are no certainties in life apart from death and taxes, but despite the undeniable reality that we will all die one day, a large percentage of the population have not made good provision to pay out a lump sum to their families after they have gone. There are many important reasons why taking out life insurance is a good idea, and the top 10 are discussed below:

  1. As mortgage cover. Mortgage lenders will insist that all parties named on the mortgage documents have adequate life cover which will pay off the outstanding mortgage in the event of a death.
  2. Income protection. Although the mortgage may be paid off in the event of a sudden death, if the family’s breadwinner dies suddenly, the surviving family members can still be left with a serious financial headache. A good life insurance policy will give them breathing room to sort out finances without worrying about paying the bills.
  3. To top-up employer cover. Many employees mistakenly think that their employer’s cover will be sufficient. Not all employers offer life insurance to their employees, and with those who do the levels of cover varies. Taking out a private life insurance policy in addition to any employer’s scheme will greatly increase protection.
  4. It’s easy to set up. In the past, taking out a life insurance policy could involve lengthy forms, medical checks and paperwork. Nowadays life insurance can mostly be organised online, with the minimum of fuss and time required.
  5. Education expenses. Parents who have children in fee-paying schools or who are expected to go to University may take out life insurance as a way of guaranteeing that the fees will continue to be paid in the event of their death.
  6. Funeral costs. The average funeral in the UK costs around £1,500 and many people take out life insurance policies as a way of ensuring that bereaved family members do not have to worry about paying for a funeral.
  7. Childcare costs. The death of a parent whose children are still young could leave the surviving parent with no other option but to give up work to care for their family. Life insurance policies for families can provide enough cash to allow the surviving parent to keep their work and pay for a good level of childcare.
  8. Mutiple Beneficiaries. Many life insurance policies will give the policyholder the flexibility to name several people on the policy, and stipulate how the money should be split between them.
  9. State Top-Up. The current austerity package means that there is an ever-increasing squeeze on welfare payments. Good life insurance means dependents won’t have to turn to the government for support.
  10. Price. The life insurance market is becoming increasingly more competitive, and good policies are not as expensive as people think.

How do you insure the Queen?

Olympics (it can’t be easy parachuting at 86 – even with the help of James Bond!) and it looks like 2013 is set to be just as monumental with the birth of William and Kate’s 1st. But have you ever wondered what considerations are needed to insure the Queen? Would she be high risk/low risk?

It’s probably fairly unlikely that the Queen spends her free time on price comparison websites trying to get a better deal for her house insurance, but just like the rest of us, she will need to consider what sort of cover she needs. Insurance services and the Queen, or at least people similar to her, are an interesting subject, and there are specific areas where cover will be required.

Pet Insurance

Everyone knows the Queen loves her corgis, and like many elderly people she treats her pets as members of the extended family. Responsible pet owners take out pet insurance to guard against any unexpected vet bills should their pet have an accident or fall seriously ill. When more than one animal is owned, a separate policy will be required for each one.

Home and Contents Insurance

Any property owner will want to ensure that they have adequate cover to repair and restore their property if they are hit by flood or fire. A buildings insurance policy will cover the structure of the building, and a contents policy will cover the items in the home. Most insurers will ask homeowners to declare items over a certain monetary value, and it’s fair to say that in the Queen’s case this list will be fairly extensive.

Travel Insurance

There aren’t as many women in their eighties who travel as extensively as the Queen, but travel insurance is essential for anyone going overseas for business or pleasure. It covers not only the costs incurred if you have to cancel your holiday at short notice, but also covers loss or theft of luggage, medical costs while abroad, and emergency transport back to the UK in the event of a death or medical emergency.

Medical Insurance

As a nation we are living longer, and not a week goes past without there being a story in the press about pressure on the NHS. Lots of us have private medical insurance, and this sort of cover means that non-emergency procedures can be carried out much more quickly than on the NHS. For elderly people the Queen’s age, procedures like hip or knee replacements can be completed in a few weeks rather than a wait of several months.

Funeral Planning

The Queen is in the fortunate position of knowing that when she dies, her funeral will be arranged by the government and it will be a very grand occasion. Many elderly people in similar circumstances have policies which pay out in the event of their death and the idea is that this money can be used to cover the funeral expenses, and anything left over goes with the rest on the estate.