Construction workers can feel a bit more at ease about taking time off work due to accidents, thanks to a new policy from industry insurer B&CE Insurance.

It has launched RapidCash, which is believed to be the first injury policy to cover new back injuries, serious cuts, sprains and ligament damage to limbs.

Construction is classed by the Health and Safety Executive as the most dangerous work activity for head injuries.

It said that last year 24 employees or self-employed people from the construction industry died as a result of head injuries, and a further 105 suffered major injuries.

Another 263 people had to take more than three days off work after sustaining head injuries in the same period.

Furthermore, 63 members of the public had suffered serious head injuries caused by construction work.

B&CE's personal accident cover includes a tax-free weekly sum that is usually payable within 24 hours of a claim being lodged for workers who suffer qualifying breaks or dislocated limbs .

Other injuries will be paid in a lump sum when the worker goes back to work.

The cost of premiums start at lower than the price of a packet of cigarettes each week, and cover will apply all year round.

B&CE was launched in October 1995. The company offers low-cost insurance polices to the construction industry. B&CE now has a membership of more than 8,000 employers, including many of the top 100 contractors.

Last year, B&CE paid employee benefits totalling £170m.

John Jory, manager of B&CE Insurance, said: "If a construction worker suffers even a small accident then they may not be able to work for a substantial period of time. This can mean there is no cash coming in and the bills mounting at home until they are fit to take up employment again."

Mr Jory added: "We wanted to offer the most comprehensive cover possible and we are delighted that we are now in a position to do so."