How Business Owners Can Reduce Risks

Introduction

Risk is an inherent part of life, although you may not necessarily be aware of just how widespread and numerous these risks are until you become a business owner. When you have a business, it is your responsibility to ensure that anyone who is on the business premises is protected from harm at all times. This is a responsibility that is legally enforced, which is why it is essential that you identify and measure any potential risks within your business premises and do whatever you can to remove or minimise them.

Crucial to managing these risks is anticipating any events that could generate devastating, adverse or expensive implications for you and your business. In this article, we’re going to be exploring several risks that every business owner should be mindful of, including harm or injury within the business premises, flooding defence and fire safety. With due diligence, you can protect the interests of anyone who enters and leaves your commercial property as well as yourself and the business you have worked so hard to build.

  1. Risk Assessment
  2. Flood Defence
  3. Fire Defence
  4. Insurance For Your Business

Risk Assessment

Essentially, a risk assessment refers to the process of identifying, understanding and evaluating potential hazards in commercial premises. As a business owner, it is a legal requirement for you to protect your employees and customers from harm.

Typically, you are required to conduct a basic risk assessment. This involves identifying what could cause injury in your business and seek out ways to eliminate the hazard or control the risk. By keeping a risk assessment record, you can regularly review what measures you have taken and adjust or update them as required.

A risk assessment template is one way you can effectively document these risks, and allows you to create a detailed plan that covers everything from the cause of the risk to how you will address it.

Flood Defence

Unpredictable weather conditions are one of the more sinister symptoms of climate change, and the United Kingdom is certainly no exception. The severity of storms has been increasing rapidly, not only during the winter but also throughout the year. Flooding, in particular, has become a serious problem that affects thousands of residential properties and commercial premises on an annual basis.

Within the United Kingdom, it is estimated that more than 300,000 businesses are at risk of flooding. The effects of flooding can be catastrophic, not only damaging the property and its contents, but disrupting your employees and customers as well. By researching and investing in flooding defence, however, you can ensure that your business is as protected as possible. Even if flood-related damage is not entirely preventable, being prepared from the outset can make all the difference when it comes to your business’ recovery.

There are some practical flooding measures that you can employ, such as installing removable barriers that can be used to seal openings such as doors and windows. Working toilets and drains are just as important, alongside non-return valves throughout your property’s piping that will ensure floodwater can only flow away from your building rather than into it. If the area you live in is particularly prone to flooding, then you may want to consider raised electrical sockets, control circuits and panels.

In the event that a flood has happened, it is worth enquiring if the builders can integrate flood-resistant materials into your building’s construction during the repairs. Another way to mitigate any financial losses is by ensuring that you’re covered with storm cover insurance and business interruption insurance.

Fire Defence

It is a legal obligation to protect your premises, your workers, your customers and your neighbours from the risk of fire.

It is your responsibility to conduct a fire risk assessment of the premises and review it on a regular basis. You must notify staff about any risks that you have identified, ensure that the appropriate fire safety measures are in place, and make sure there is an established emergency protocol. Staff members also need to have relevant fire safety instructions and training.

If you don’t have the necessary fire protection systems in place, then you will have to bring your existing ones up to the expected standard. When it comes to fire protection systems, there are two distinct categories:

Active Fire Protection – These systems describe manual and/or automatic fire detection and suppression methods. For example, alarms and evacuation systems, portable fire equipment, in-built fire sprinklers and fire safety training.

Passive Fire Protection – In contrast to active fire protection, passive fire protection refers to measures that are resistant to fires. Examples include fire doors, fire resistant walls and doors, fire resistant dampers and intumescent fireproofing protective coating systems.

With these systems in place, you can dramatically reduce the risk of fires, either preventing them entirely or at the very least limiting a fire’s damage.

Insurance For Your Business

As a business owner, your premises is probably your greatest investment and the primary means through which you conduct business and interact with employees and customers. However, there are unexpected events that may affect the integrity of your business premises, including floods, fires, vandalism, and extreme weather.

These have the potential to inflict serious damage on your commercial property, the financial implications of which could be devastating for you and your business. Fortunately, buildings insurance will protect you in these situations, not only covering you for repairs but even a complete rebuild of your business premises if that is required. With this cover, you no longer have to be afraid of the uncertain, because you will be financially supported no matter how severe the damage is.

Protecting the actual structure of your business premises with buildings insurance is essential, and it is just as important that you protect the contents of your business premises with contents insurance as well. The values of a building’s contents can amount to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds. This is especially applicable to businesses that have invested considerable amounts into computer equipment, heavy machinery and stock and supplies.

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