Reduce Your Risks This Winter and Take Steps NOW!
Winter weather is nearing for many financial institutions across the United States. With the onset of winter come risks from freezing temperatures and snow, increasing opportunities for unwanted claims. There are steps that can be taken to reduce the risks this weather presents.
Steps to Take Now
Last minute steps include preparation for power outages, prevention of roof collapse, keeping heat sources safe and warm, preventing frozen pipes and understanding the winter weather alerts. Easy maintenance includes ensuring insulation is proper along exterior walls and around windows. If the building has gutters, ensuring those are cleaned out to allow water to drain is important to preventing a loss, along with ensuring trees are cleared back from roofs. It’s also important to be sure roofs are maintained well and able to absorb the necessary load from heavy snowfalls. While ongoing plans for building maintenance should address this exposure, double-checking the roof before snow arrives is a good safety precaution.
Understand Weather Alerts and Review Contingency Plans
Understanding the different weather alert terms is also important, and establishing alerts from the National Weather Service can help to identify potential threats. Inclement weather policies should be reviewed and plans updated as necessary for continuity and business continuation. It’s also a good time to communicate in advance the process for announcement of any closures, delayed openings, and where to look for such information. Over-communicating is important to avoid doubt when questions arise, especially when people are reacting and not thinking clearly.
Reduce the Potential for Slips and Falls
While buildings are important considerations, exposure to slips and falls are also important to avoid. In addition to proactive application of deicer and clearing of walkways to keep employees and customers safe, warning signs can help as reminders. Also, encouraging employees to wear proper footwear when walking on snow and ice can help reduce opportunities of slipping. Providing a clean and warm area for changing shoes can encourage this, as well as reminding employees to walk a little more slowly and take smaller steps.
Plan to Clear a Path
For employees engaged in clearing of snow, it’s important to provide correct tools and encourage proper technique. When possible, it’s good to outsource snow removal to a third party, but in some places the frequency of snow fall makes that difficult. This often requires assistance from employees, which creates an exposure to workers’ compensation claims if an injury results.
Make Sure Vehicles Are Prepared
Finally, while buildings and grounds are important places to look, it’s also good to make sure vehicles are prepared. Having fluids checked, tires inspected, and heating working properly are important measures for employees relying upon transportation. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers tips for preparing vehicles.
Let Us Help You and Your Clients Be Prepared!
With all that can go wrong, taking steps to avoid a loss is a good first-step. Knowing you have proper insurance coverage assures you of peace of mind if something bad happens. At Berkley FinSecure, we pride ourselves on helping customers work through those unfortunate moments and providing products that address these exposures.
Contact any one of us below for help in making sure your financial institution customers are protected!
|VP Sales and Distribution/Great Plains Region
|Great Lake Regions