Damages happen...even to the best trained field staff. It’s your approach prior to the damage and your response after that sets you apart. Consider the following as you create new or review existing policies:
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- Document existing damage during the preseason site inspection. Being proactive can prevent you from being blamed for damages that you did not do but also allows you to alert your customer to damages and potentially dangerous site conditions.
- Highlight hazards on site maps and use fiberglass marker poles with orange flagging on site as a reminder of problem areas or obstacles, even if you cannot mark the obstacle itself.
- Immediately secure the area where damage has occurred. Every site should have some way to barricade or mark damage, whether it is cones, flares or another system.
- Make sure you have emergency numbers for the city you’re working in, including police, fire, water department, etc. These can come in handy if damage occurs to fire hydrants, light poles or other city property.
- When damage occurs, it is important to immediately document, report and address it. The property owner or management company should be made aware of the damages, and repairs should be performed as soon as practical.
- If you are one of several companies servicing a site, require your customer provide a site map showing your responsibilities. Damage caused on a section of the site you didn’t service shouldn’t be your responsibility.
- Contractually require subs to assume responsibility to repair damage by their employees.
- Review any damage, determine the cause (human error or fatigue, visibility, operational technique) and look for patterns (more damage on a certain site or by a specific operator). Conduct additional training and adjust operational plans to mitigate further damage.
- Ensure that you follow up with your insurance company regarding property damage that may impact your policy and communicate to them how you will mitigate that risk moving forward.