Even with robust safety systems and a low incident record, factories and warehouses have experienced a startling rise in insurance premiums. Preventing further escalation of those premiums is a multifaceted challenge. This checklist highlights some predictable and other less commonly considered focal points.
In a previous section, we examined the significant increase in insurance premiums observed over the past decade. Although insurance markets inherently experience cyclical patterns, industry experts do not anticipate a decline in these rates within the foreseeable future. This leaves companies with limited options, and compels them to mitigate the impact of this upward trend. A major part of the following checklist boils down to the straightforward but far from simple goal of having less accidents. But while these definitely bear reminding, there’s more to consider.
Select an insurer familiar with your field
Having an insurance company that understands and preferably specializes in your specific field allows them to accurately assess your unique risks and challenges and should ensure appropriate coverage and risk management strategies. Such an insurer can also offer tailored solutions that address the specific needs and requirements of your industry, valuable guidance and minimize coverage gaps. This instills confidence, peace of mind as well as the knowledge your company is charged premiums comparable to those presented to your competitors.
Operator safety training
When operating machinery, both stationary and mobile, proper safety training is key. Firstly, it ensures the well-being and physical safety of employees, reducing the risk of accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. By equipping workers with the knowledge and skills to operate machinery correctly, potential hazards and risks can be identified and mitigated effectively. Additionally, it promotes operational efficiency by enhancing productivity and minimizing downtime caused by accidents or errors.
Automatic fire extinguishers
From 2012 to 2021 the US Fire Administration showed a 20% increase in non-residential building fires resulting in a 21% increase in dollar loss. The total economic costs of fires amount to 1% of the GDP in most advanced countries and between 2009 and 2014 in the UK alone 5.000 jobs were lost due to warehouse fires. In short: fire remains as an often catastrophic hazard that can cripple a company. A staggering 44% of affected businesses fail to recover. Which is a singular but far from ideal way to get out from under an inevitable insurance premium hike.
Small issues like leaks, exposed wires, rusting metal supports, potholes and other unnecessary work floor unevenness can worsen to become substantial hazards
over time. Have a system in place to detect and fix these problems now, to save a lot more time and money later. Know also that non-weather water damage is the most common property insurance claim type, plumbing is one of the most critical areas to address. Electrical systems and roofs also deserve regular attention.
Doing better will reflect on your insurance premiums
When it comes to safety there is always room for improvement. This starts with countering the deterioration of solid existing safety systems and ends with keeping an eye out for new developments and technologies that allow for even less errors, incidents, accidents and the accompanying higher insurance premium. Recent innovations have not only shown a serious positive impact on safety but also on maintenance, operator training evacuation protocols as well as on nearly every other item on this checklist. Also: hazards can
be dynamic, so mitigation strategies must also adapt over time.
… while the usual suspects remain under scrutiny
Keep your facility clean, clutter free and well-lit. Inspect everything regularly. Train for worst case scenarios. Divide up safety and control roles and make individuals accountable. Keep isles wide and enforce loading dock rules. Eliminate pests as soon as possible. When opening a new site in a different region, consider local environmental and meteorological factors. Keep pedestrians away from vehicles and vice versa. Factor in visitors and external workers unfamiliar with your site. Install clear and open communication channels. And again: explore how new technologies may assist you in any if not all of the above and keep insurance premiums under control.