Carefully consider your organization’s potential liabilities and prioritize them to help determine where to begin when it comes to loss prevention.
When you own brick-and-mortar premises for your business there is any manner of accidents and mishaps that fall under your responsibility. It’s important to understand the risks involved and how to manage them.
Be sure to take the time to carefully consider and evaluate the potential risks your organization faces. Decide which are more likely to occur and which could potentially result in the greatest loss.
Once you’ve identified them, spend the time and resources on the risks that could have the most significant cost or negative impact to your business.
Tips on Managing Business Premises Risk
- Create policies and procedures on how to handle the property of others.
- Keep property in a secure area.
- Ensure the property is returned to the correct owner.
- Keep people safe
- Do not allow visitors or customers into restricted areas.
- Keep all premises, including parking lots and sidewalks, well lit.
- Keep the premises neat and tidy. Implement a regular inspection and maintenance schedule.
- Inspect shelves to ensure they will not collapse and that they do not have sharp edges.
- Ensure equipment is well spaced to avoid clutter.
- Perform pre-inspections on a property that belongs to a third party before it is left in your custody. Document these inspections and make a note of any deficiencies.
- Photograph damaged areas.
- Note any repairs or replacements needed.
- Ensure that the owner and user sign the inspection form. This helps determine that the owner and user are in agreement regarding the conditions of the property.
- Ensure each party has a copy of the inspection form.
- Complete a final inspection before returning the property. The property owner and the user should perform the inspection together.
- Compare conditions with the pre-inspection.
- Sign and keep a copy of the final inspection form.
- Ensure enough employees and/or volunteers are on duty to protect visitors and/or customers from potential harm.
- Determine the average and the maximum number of clients and/or customers per day.
- Put more employees and/or volunteers on duty during heavy traffic periods.
- Provide training to employees and/or volunteers.
- Ensure that employees and/or volunteers assist clients and/or customers if they are using hazardous equipment.
- Give an adequate warning.
- Place warning labels on potentially hazardous products.
- Place signs to deter clients and/or customers from restricted areas.
- Provide instructions on how to operate equipment, handle materials and/or products, etc.
- Implement security measures
- Install a security alarm.
- Place signs in a visible location to warn people that a security system is in place.
- Install electronic surveillance such as a security camera. Keep privacy restrictions in mind.
- Keep the premises locked after hours.
- Implement a key security policy for the premises.
- Ensure key-holders are known and that keys are returned after employment or volunteer service ends.
- Keys should be kept in a secure place.
- Install a security alarm.
- Retain documents
- Consider storing a backup copy of records off the premises. If a fire destroys the building, backup records stored offsite will still be available.
- Consider storing data electronically. Storing data electronically has many advantages such as accessibility and convenient retrieval of data. However, additional considerations such as data security (hackers, etc.), personnel training and cost need to be considered.
Understand the risks and associated liabilities that are unique to business premises as well as what to do in the event of a claim. Have questions? Contact us for more information with regards to loss prevention and your business.