Business resumption – Beyond COVID-19
When Government restrictions are eased following the pandemic outbreak and businesses can re-open, it may not be as easy as returning to site and turning the machinery, gas, electricity and water services back on. The extent of recovery is dependent upon the extent the business went to in the closure. In general, it’s important to reverse the actions that were taken to close the premises, along with other safeguards. Here are some tips to consider in order to commence business resumption planning:
Broker/insurance company/fire brigade:
Formally notify these entities that business is resuming.
Communicate to customers, suppliers, servicing contractors etc. that the business is resuming.
Utilities / services:
Gas, water and electrical supplies may have been partially (or totally) isolated at the supply into the premises and signage to this effect provided. Good practice would be to have a contractor conduct the opening of services, which would include inspection/test for integrity (e.g. gas and water leak detection and thermal imaging for electrics) and repair as necessary.
Firstly, confirm the premises security systems (e.g. fixed electronic services/CCTV, fencing and gate locking, security patrols, deterrent signage, bollards, external lighting etc.) remain in an operational and effective condition. Once acceptable integrity is confirmed, valuables and critical documentation that may have been removed off-site to a more secure location during the premises closure, may be returned.
Keys and proximity access cards that may have been recovered from employees, may now be re-issued to employees however it is recommended that all be re-coded to avoid conflict with previous codes. Additionally, ensure an ‘issue register’ is provided for an effective recall if necessary in the future.
Fire / life safety services:
During the premises closure, maintenance contracts ideally remained in place for all automatic fire sprinkler systems, hydrants, hose reels, extinguishers, smoke/heat detection, pumps, water storage/supply tanks, air sampling smoke detection systems, exit and emergency lighting systems etc. No further action should be required.
Securing hazardous goods such as gas bottles included valve closure. Inspect valve assembly, lines and regulators for acceptable condition, open the valves and test/observe for leaks.
Information technology (IT):
Reinstate the service contract if waived during premises closure. Check back-up of software and data. Ensure the computer server room is clear of combustibles and remains secured from unauthorised entry.
Clean and sanitise the entire premises. Clean items before they are sanitized. This includes fixtures, fittings, equipment and storage areas. For example, vacuum carpets, sweep hard flooring surfaces, vacuum/dust curtains and blinds, wipe down tables, chairs, cutlery, clean coffee machines and remove waste. Particular attention should be given to cleaning the kitchen (inclusive of cool rooms and refrigerators), stove-top exhaust hood and extraction ductwork.
For those foods retained on site during the closure (refrigerated/non-refrigerated), check ‘expiry/best before’ dates and dispose as necessary.
Refer to the RM Insight® article Restarting ‘idle’ machinery.
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This information contained in this Document is general in nature only and does not consider your specific risks and hazards, nor does it imply insurance coverage. It is not intended to be a substitute for appropriate professional advice. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the completeness or accuracy of this Document and you should consider whether it adequately covers all your hazards, risks or necessary considerations. AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Vero Insurance (“Vero”) and its related bodies corporate do not accept any legal responsibility or liability for negligence or otherwise to you or anyone else who seeks to use or rely on this Document. This includes, without limitation, loss arising from a possible failure of the Document to incorporate any applicable Australian Standards or identify any regulator, your statutory requirements, or other risks or hazards beyond those mentioned in the Document. V10916 12/05/20 A