Property Risk Management
Our client is a commercial property landlord. They own and manage a number of properties including; parades of retail shops on typical high streets, a number of multi-storey office blocks occupied by multiple tenants, and residential block properties with varying numbers of ‘apartment’ units contained within them.
As a commercial entity, our client has an obligation to comply with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, along with the following specific areas of statute:
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
- The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012
- The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
These regulations require our client to assess the pertinent risks arising from the ‘common areas’ of the properties they own. These common areas can include; reception areas, corridors and stairwells, common ‘break out’ areas, lifts, plant rooms and car parks including landscaped areas.
Furthermore, as our client directly employ various staff members in receptionist/site management/ maintenance roles, they have an obligation to assess and minimise the risks faced by these employees in their day to day jobs.
Our client approached us because, whilst they were fully aware of their obligations, they had been managing these on an ad-hoc basis with no formal structure for making the assessments readily available to tenants and staff.
They had also been purchasing consultancy services to assist with appropriate assessments and the formulation of subsequent documentation from a number of suppliers with varying costs and formats.
The proposed framework
Lighthouse Risk Services employ Health & Safety consultants with the relevant competencies and experience to assist in all areas of concern. A fixed cost framework to conduct therelevant surveys and assessments over a 5 year period was subsequently proposed.
This included the following elements:
- Conducting an initial Fire Risk Assessment at each location
- Undertaking a general Health & Safety assessment of common areas at each location
- If required, conducting an Asbestos Management Survey, or the appropriate Re- inspection Survey
- Writing a Health & Safety policy and assisting in developing Risk Assessments for the processes undertaken by the site staff our client employs
- Providing General Safety, Fire Safety and Manual Handling training to the relevant site staff
- Re-visiting the Fire, General Health & Safety and Asbestos surveys/assessments and re-assessing
- Reviewing the Health & Safety policy and updating if required
- Providing refresher training to site staff
This framework gave our client confidence that their legal obligations under UK Health & Safety Law were being managed by an appropriate competent person.
As Lighthouse had a agreed a fixed price structure for each element of the service, it also allowed our client to effectively budget for Health & Safety compliance costs when reviewing lease contracts with tenants.
As all documentation was being produced by Lighthouse, this provided consistency and helped our client to compare one building to another. Lighthouse have also allowed online accessibility of these documents, making it simple to produce the required reports if under scrutiny from a potential tenant, or if the building in question is involved in a sale.
The provision of safety training to employees, along with their involvement in the risk assessment process helped to promote a safety culture throughout the organisation.
Finally, the documentation produced has provided a formal audit trail displaying that our client is aware of, and has acted upon, their legal obligations. This has resulted in a reduction in their civil liability exposure to injuries to their staff members, and those members of the public who come in to contact with their buildings.