In the very first instance it is essential, Management genuinely commits to a process of Loss Prevention.
Management needs to actively endorse collective commitments by clearly nominating Objectives, Procedures, Responsibilities and Accountabilities of the Program.
A formal Corporate Guideline and Policy Statement then conveys these intentions to all stakeholders. Every employee needs to feel empowered to take an active role in the enforcement of the Loss Prevention Program initiatives.
Employee involvement is critical to the success of the Program. Motivated employees are good for business. Committed employees understand the benefits of the Program for everyone, as they not only protect the Company but most importantly their jobs.
Construction and Occupational activity within any Building is critical in determining it’s Exposure Rating.
Hazardous processes should be partitioned through the use of Fire Resistant materials. In large areas it may be appropriate to introduce firewalls.
Flammable Liquids should be stored, regardless of quantity, in appropriately rated and if necessary, bunded areas and/or cabinets.
Weather Risk are prevelent in most parts of Australia and Roof Design and Loadings are important as this usually represents one of the main exposures.
Roof Construction is a major consideration. Many Risks still have asbestos roofing in part or in full and total replacement is mandatory even in the event of partial losses only.
The use of EPS in Thermal Panels and the like is another major exposure consideration.
Ideally Automatic Sprinkler installations lower the overall risk exposure in buildings where they are fitted.
More appropriately though a positive attitude to Fire Protection is positively assessed. The installation of Hose Reels, Hand Extinguishers, Thermal and Smoke Alarms are measures looked upon favourably by Insurers.
Hazardous and Flammable Liquids need to be isolated by distance or construction and most preferably in a detached location.
There are particular standards within Australia for the correct handling of all hazardous liquids.
All employees need to constantly trained in the correct use and handling of all hazardous liquids. A best practice Loss Control program includes the implementation of a separate Spill or Response Team dedicated to first response immediate action. Specialised training and encouragement is critical for this team.
Emergency cut off valves which are easily accessible are critical to the Exposure Rating.
Where Automatic Sprinklers are installed water pressure is critical and a major assessment factor for Exposure Rating. Ideally additional tanks with high flow pumps are treated favourably.
Hose Reels need to be tested for flow rates and pressure and most importantly length to ensure full coverage.
All Fire Protection equipment needs to be easily accessible and tested or serviced on a quarterly basis to ensure maximum operation.
Re-Location of business premises is critical as current installed protection equipment needs to be fully appraised to ensure it meets the requirements of the new tenant.
All employees should undergo training in the correct use of all Fire Protection appliances.
An effective Loss Prevention Program requires regular, recorded inspection of all fire protection equipment.
Inspections should also include housekeeping, waste removal, non-smoking, handling of hazardous material, security and general condition of all Fire Protection appliances.
This should be conducted in addition to regular servicing of such equipment.
Any Hot Work, i.e. Welding needs to meet Australian standards and is conducted in separate assigned areas.
Proper inspection and testing of Fork Lift recharging areas need to be constantly reviewed in view of increased fire load and deterioration of charging equipment due to sparking.
Any affective Loss Prevention Program will involve all employees in the identification and frequent cleaning of work areas ensuring prompt waste disposal and correct materials handling practices.
Particular attention to building up of combustible materials around switchboards and re-charging areas is critical to avoid ignition. Dust build up is of particular concern and a system of regular recorded housekeeping inspections and actions taken needs to be implemented.
Risks with effective Loss Prevention programs in place also implement a system of regular preventative maintenance for Building and Equipment.
Buildings should be inspected regularly for damage and gutters need to be well maintained and cleared of any debris.
Machinery and work areas need to be left is a clean environment and kept clear of grease, oil or dust build up.
Repairs to machinery should be undertaken immediately to ensure all equipment is working properly and in accordance with statutory requirements.
Employees most familiar with all operations need to be trained as an Emergency Response Team.
The ERT would be responsible for emergencies such as, Fire, Explosion, Liquid Spillage, Weather Events, and other such occurrences such as Emergency Evacuation and designated assembly points.
Designated employees are assigned roles to notify Fire and Emergency Authorities. In addition other members of the ERT would be trained in first response First Aid assistance.
An effective Loss Prevention program will also ensure all employees are trained in the use of all fire protection equipment.
Disaster response training should be undertaken on a regular basis to ensure skills maintenance.
Weather events are the most damaging of all the natural hazards. Claims from water, storm and wind being most prevalent.
A review of your surroundings needs to be undertaken to identify exposures from water courses and drains for possible Flood exposure. It is also important to examine the Risk imposed by your location to other hazards created by neighbouring business.
In areas where earthquake activity is experienced a properly recorded and monitored evacuation program needs to be communicated to all employees.
We have only outlined a few critical areas of effective Loss Prevention. Assessment of Risk Exposures determines the level of Premium.
Underwriters are looking for those well managed committed Risks with competent Loss Prevention Management and low Claims Ratios over specific periods.
If you’re current Insurance Broker is not performing in this area and shows lack of innovation perhaps it’s time to consider alternative solutions to achieve what you believe is reasonable.
VeriSure are Specialists Risk Advisors.
Our commitment to providing the very best Policy Terms and Conditions at the most competitive Premium together with our professional Claims Advocacy is paramount.
Contact us for an extensive Risk Assessment today.
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