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    KBC backs new health and safety moves for green sectors

    Friday, October 23, 2015 — Today, in the town of Rijkevorsel, a Covenant on Well-being at Work and Work Safety in the Agricultural and Horticultural Sectors was signed in the presence of Kris Peeters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Work, the Economy and Consumer Affairs, who is in charge of Foreign Trade.
    KBC Insurance, too, is conscious that major steps need to be taken in the area of workplace safety in the agricultural and horticulture sectors and in relation to the broader scope of work safety and, therefore, gives this new initiative its full backing in terms of both its social role and its essential health and safety DNA as an insurer.

    A recent survey of the sector by the ILVO (Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research) shows that, in 2014, as many as 1 800 work accidents were recorded involving personal injury, including six fatal accidents and 180 cases where serious injuries were suffered. Prime areas of concern are toxic gases and moving machine parts. Serious bodily injuries and the loss of a family member or worker leave behind both visible and emotional scars. The human consequences for the victims and those close to them cost them much pain and, all too often, remain with them for the rest of their lives.

    Together with all the players in the green sectors, especially farmers and market gardeners themselves, KBC feels that a structured approach is needed. KBC is committed to playing its part by increasing client awareness with targeted, accessible safety screenings on farms themselves to encourage safe behaviour and reduce accidents. Starting in 2016, these safety screenings will be carried out by PreventAgri Vlaanderen at the premises of people insured with KBC in Flanders. Clients are given an easily comprehensible short-list of all their most serious safety issues. KBC is convinced that health and safety can prevent human suffering.

    Marc Euben, General Manager, Defendo, Claims Handling Policy, Health & Safety and Reinsurance at KBC Insurance: ‘Though KBC is able to soften the financial consequences of an accident, it can’t relieve all the pain. No accident at all is always better than a well-insured accident. That’s why we so warmly welcome PreventAgri Vlaanderen and this Covenant. KBC is delighted to work closely with those who took the initiative of setting up the Covenant, which focuses on farmers and market gardeners, and has itself contributed actively from the outset. The project bears witness to our close commitment to a topic impacting people daily.’