Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, many businesses are having to temporarily close, and possibly allow staff to help sustain operations via home working. Here’s some general advice about how to protect your premises during temporary closures. If the Government restrictions continue for a significant period of time, further action may be required. This guidance is from a risk management perspective. Any queries relating to insurance cover should be directed to your insurance broker or advisor.
Risk Control Measures
- Waste: Remove all external waste, pallets and empty skips ahead of closing
- Waste bins: Empty all waste bins and relocate to a secure area, ideally within at least 10 metres from the building. If this is not possible and bins and skips are within 10m, these should have lockable lids.
- Fire Systems: Ensure that any fire or sprinkler systems are fully operational
- Fire Doors: Carry out a check to ensure that internal fire doors are closed
- Building Utilities: Shutdown any non-essential electrical devices and building utilities. Isolate nonessential services, gas valves etc.
- Inspections: Where at all possible (and subject to Government restrictions) try to implement periodic inspections of the building (internally and externally). Please ensure that you comply with existing government guidance regarding vulnerable people and lone worker risk assessments. Consider the provisioning for alternative skilled personnel, such as security guarding/patrolling companies.
- Physical Security: Carry out a check to ensure physical security measures are in place e.g. fences are in good repair, windows are locked, shutters are in place, gates are locked.
- Intruder Alarm: Make sure your intruder alarm is set and that remote signalling is in place. Ensure sufficient numbers of keyholders are available to respond to an alarm activation within 20 minutes.
- Maintenance: so far as reasonable practicable, there is an expectation by insurers that essential maintenance continues with any remedial measures completed. Premises that have Building Management Systems (BMS) with remote alerts should continue to be responded to. If possible, ensure gutters and drains are clear of debris, ahead of winter setting in.
- Dangerous Goods: If you have any dangerous goods on your premises, ensure they are kept secure in their usual storage place, and review inventory levels, documentation etc.
- If your site normally has 24-hour occupation and you wish to completely close or temporary close your site due to COVID-19, please contact your insurance broker or insurer for advice. Please update any relevant risk assessments so there is knowledge of the action to take in the event of an emergency.
- With a limited staff presence, there may be a request to deploy employees or contractors to other tasks. Employees and contractors must not be exposed to tasks for which they have not received appropriate training e.g. working at heights or use of machinery.
For additional information, please contact us on (07) 5482 7485
For a checklist to use as a reference point for regular checks during temporary closedown periods click here.