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There are many potential sources of risks in a commercial setting. While it is impossible to prevent every possible accident, taking proactive measures can help your business avoid or survive some of the most common disasters among Malaysian businesses.

If you are not ready to engage a risk engineer to help you spot any issues and prevent unfortunate events from happening in the first place, these practical tips will help get you started.

 

Fire

1. Install and maintain a fire detection system. Make sure to find the right system for your business to help prevent or limit the destruction caused by fires.

 

2. Manage hot work hazards. Designate a hot work Permit Authorizing Individual (PAI) trained in hot work safety measures, to be responsible for the careful implementation and enforcement of a written Hot Work Safety Program.

 

3. Create a pre-fire plan / Emergency Response Plan (ERP). During emergencies, this will help the fire department, especially if protective equipment is necessary, to fight a fire. The plan should include (but not limited to):

  • floor plans
  • information on all relevant systems, including electrical, gas, and fire alarm systems
  • a list of hazardous materials in the building
  • key contact information

Learn more: How to create a fire prevention plan

 

Flood

1. Anticipate the potential sources and impact of a flood. You need to be familiar with the times of year floods might occur and the drainage systems within your facility.

 

2. Implement preventive measures, such as

  • storing critical records as well as key equipment and inventory in higher locations
  • installing protective walls, waterproof closures, and backup systems
  • install check valves where utility and sewer lines enter the building

 

3. Establish an emergency response team that have clearly defined responsibilities and levels of authority. Work with them to communicate, protect and train other staff.

Learn more: How to develop a flood emergency response plan

 

Water damage

1. Conduct a risk assessment. Inspect all appliances that use water, including those in bathrooms, kitchens, and all water supply lines.

 

2. Develop a training plan. Train all security, facilities, and property management staff, and conduct refresher courses each year.

 

3. Assemble flood/spill control kits. Having a water damage response kit on-hand and storing them in a convenient location (e.g., security or mechanical rooms) will allow for a quick response in case of an accidental water incident.

 

Learn more: What businesses should know about water damage

 

Slip-and-fall

1. Identify hazards. Speak to your staff, inspect the premises, and review records such as incident and injury reports.

 

2. Educate employees on best practices. These may sound a lot like common sense, but every staff should know their roles in helping maintain a clean, organized and safe workplace

  • Ensure floors are free of spills, debris, obstacles, unexpected or irregular steps/surfaces
  • Keep all areas well lit
  • Properly cover all cables and wires
  • Wear comfortable, properly fitted shoes

 

3. Have a formal slip and fall prevention program in place. Assign specific responsibilities to individuals or teams. Train workers in safety protocols and provide safety equipment for workers whose jobs entail significant fall risks.

 

Learn more: Slipping hazards lurking in your premise.

 

Some accidents are preventable and taking necessary steps to keep your business, employees and customers safe is crucial. However, keep in mind that no matter how well-prepared you are, an accident can still occur and hurt everything and everyone that matters to you.

 

Hence, we also recommend building a safety net for your business and assets with insurance solutions that cover basic risks like fire, flood, water damage and slip-and-fall for greater peace of mind.

Download full infographic

Practical tips for managing top SME risks


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