Risk Management is not set and forget

IMG_3456Last week I was doing an insurance health check on a very complex program for an insured having been engaged to do the review by their broker for 25+ years.

The business had grown and was now exporting and entering a period of rapid growth and they felt that a fresh pair of eyes over the account would give them comfort and provide a value added service to their client.

In the review, it became apparent that a storage facility housed key parts that were necessary for their servicing division and to meet their contractual obligations.

While it was a small value its importance prompted me to seek to carry out an inspection. When I did so I found quite a few housekeeping issues that worried me and broker, client and I were pleased that I took the time.

One of the key concerns that the landlord and co-tenant in the building had decided to store a heap of Extruded Polystyrene Panels (“EPS”) [see photograph] up against the external wall of the building occupied by the Insured.  What is not in the photograph is a derelict car and a heap of other rubbish stuck around the rear of the building by the landlord which would be a magnet for any youth looking for “fun”. I also do not like things left up against the fence which can be an aid to get over the fence in either direction.

This all greatly increased the risk of fire either by a deliberate arson attack or by the accident ignition of the huge stack of EPS.

If you are not sure of the hazard posed by EPS please go to LMI RiskCoach and look at the short course on the subject.

I am yet to determine which grade of EPS this paneling is, but my immediate recommendation was to have the Insured have the landlord remove it immediately. I also recommended that the Insured’s risk and insurance manager visit the site regularly to ensure that this sort of risk had not crept in unnoticed.

Risk Management is not a set and forget thing. It does need regular checks/audits by the Insured to ensure that all risks confronting a business are identified and that the appropriate risk treatment,here removing the unnecessary hazard has been carried out. There are lots of things you can do with risk, remove it, transfer it, accept it, insurance it to name a few. The only thing you should never do is ignore it!

One response to “Risk Management is not set and forget”

  1. Terry Jackson says:

    Allan, I fully support your statements here. During my 34 years of fire service I have inspected many hundreds of properties where the housekeeping issues you raise have been of considerable concern. I have also attended and investigated many “preventable” fires that occurred as a result of poor housekeeping and/or poor security. Separation of flammable/combustible materials from a fire source / cause (deliberate or accidental) is critical to manage property fire risks. Sound risk management will at the very least result in minimal loss and reduce the time for recovery.

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