Five ways to manage risk

Accidents happen and liability and property claims often follow. However there are measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk and prevent claims

Risk management is important for any organisation, particularly charities that often rely on donations to fund their organisation. Without the right insurance cover and risk management procedures, a claim can have a significant impact on a charity’s finances.

Unfortunately, accidents do happen. Liability and property claims are common claims we see at Markel. However there are measures you can put in place to reduce the risk and prevent claims.

Below are some of the top causes of liability and property claims we see and ways to minimise the chances of these claims happening. It is vitally important that your organisation has comprehensive insurance cover, whether that is public liability, employers liability, professional indemnity, property or business interruption. For further information about the different covers take a look at our Guide: What insurance does a charity need?

Struck by object/person – It’s important to identify the potential sources and causes of incidents and introduce appropriate control measures, which may include staff training, reporting procedures and risk assessments.

Slips and trips – Ensure floors are in a good condition, adequately lit and with designated walkways and adequate assistance such as handrails and slopes for wheelchairs. Good housekeeping standards, maintenance and appropriate footwear are also essential to minimise the risk of slips and trips. Documenting a cleaning programme for any spillages will also be of benefit.

Lifting – Eliminating the need to lift wherever possible is the most effective way to minimise risk. If lifting does need to happen, providing personal protective equipment, lightening the load and reducing repetitive movements will all help to minimise the risks associated with lifting. Ensure at least two able bodied people are available for lifting people or weights above a certain amount.

Water damage – Ensure areas with water pipes are kept above freezing point to prevent frost damage and lag any external pipe work. Evaluating whether gutters, downpipes and storm drains can cope with heavy rainfall and making the necessary alterations will also minimise the risk of water damage. Drains and gutters will also need to be inspected and cleaned out regularly. Finally, ensure any vulnerable stock is stored at least 15cm above the floor.

Burglary/Theft – You can improve the physical security of your premises by installing electronic security systems such as CCTV, intruder alarms and security lights. Improving perimeter security, installing barriers and screens and using security personnel and contractors will also minimise the risk of burglary or theft.

If you would like further advice on risk management, the following article may be of interest: A three-step guide to risk management for trustees

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