To manage the risks inherent in reopening after a shutdown or period of low capacity operation, Leo stresses that a full visit should be made to ensure inventory is checked and machines are maintained. This tour is recommended during downtime on a weekly basis and after a seasonal shutdown. It is important to ensure that the equipment is restarted and functioning properly, and either a maintenance employee on staff or a specialist in the field should be brought in to commission the equipment as recommended. by the manufacturer.
For businesses that are already affected by COVID-related disruptions, it’s understandable that they may be looking for ways to reduce maintenance costs. Leo cautions against this because a lot can go wrong when the equipment is not maintained regularly: engine seizure; a shutdown of the production chain which slows down the activity resulting in a loss of income; undetected heat points resulting in failure or potentially fire. And if a business experiences a failure or loss of pressure vessels, it can be catastrophic and potentially pose an immediate threat to life.
“When business slows down and equipment is not being used to its full capacity or load potential, people often think that this is reason enough to forgo regular maintenance – but in fact it is. ‘is the opposite – it’s a key necessity, ”said Leo.
Some companies have taken the opportunity to make renovations, upgrades or installations during downtime and “with this type of change there are always risks and accidents that can occur,” warned Leo, adding in these cases that they will need to prepare for new processes.
Another pandemic risk that Leo is seeing more and more of in recent times is the change of operation. As demand changes – for example the influx of supply of masks into the market – many factories have reused or completely changed equipment to produce and sell new products, which means “we are considering a significant change in risks and operations “. Whether the equipment is new, reused, or simply moved to another location in the installation, it involves decommissioning and reinstallation – and poses the risk of loss or potential failure if not done correctly.
Even without changes in operations, many employees who return after a long period of absence can be a bit rusty when it comes to keeping up with security measures. Leo’s advice is to check the operating manuals and operating procedure guidelines and take any refresher training that may be required before employees start returning to the facility.
“By simply walking around a factory, a trained engineer can detect slight variations in sounds from equipment that could set off an alarm signal that something is not working properly,” Leo said. “It takes time for that sharpness to come back, and recycling is the best option to avoid this type of risk. “
While at the onset of COVID-19, there was a drastic slowdown in equipment failure claims due to widespread temporary shutdowns, Aviva is starting to see its frequency of claims at the same level year over year. than before the pandemic. “Our goal is, and always has been, to support in every way possible to help businesses operate in a safe and responsible manner,” said Leo.
Many companies have reassessed their policies for equipment failure during downtime, looking to improve coverage, costs, or both. It is important that clients do this whether or not they have undergone a material change in risk, such as a change in operations, Leo said, as they could experience staff reductions during off-peak times, which could change income, wage bill and mode of production. , or they may have performed system upgrades, such as installing protective or surveillance equipment, which could improve their coverage.
“It’s really about open communication and a strong brokerage relationship,” said Leo. “This way, while the client plans any changes and it actually happens in the business, the broker can ensure they have the best hedges for the client’s exposures as they evolve. . “