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COVID-19 outbreak: Pre-Start-up Checks

As a lot of businesses have been closed for significant periods of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are likely to be a number of checks that will need to be carried out in order to help ensure safe restoration of site operations.

The following check list provides assistance to businesses that have been closed or partially closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19 outbreak) and are due to reopen. The following provides general best practice advice and control measures in regard to maintaining property protection.

This applies where not in conflict with current government advice.

General checks

• Complete full fire and plant safety inspections, including ensuring that general housekeeping is in good order
• For low voltage electrical systems and equipment – at a minimum, carry out visual checks to ensure good order and clearance from combustible materials
• For sprinkler protected facilities – implement complete pre-start-up checks to ensure full operation and good order, including:

o Fire pump controller is on “automatic” mode
o Fire alarm panel is operational, including back-up batteries
o Battery electrolyte levels are adequate (diesel fire pumps)
o Fuel levels are adequate (diesel fire pumps)
o Sprinkler valve positions are correctly set
o Pumps’ cooling operational

Equipment start-up

To ensure safe start-up of equipment:
• Constantly attend and monitor equipment throughout the start-up process
• Remove any dust accumulations from equipment and surfaces that could contribute to overheating/fire
• Check fluid levels such as oil and cooling water
• Ensure that safety systems (including safety cut out devices such as low-oil or low-cooling water) are operational
• Ensure that any combustible materials that had been moved near to equipment during shutdown are removed
• Ensure that critical equipment valves (including drain-down valves) are correctly re-set as part of the safe start-up procedure
• Remove any pipe blanks that were used to isolate equipment during shutdown, as part of the safe start-up procedure

Storage, security and training

• Ensure that temporary accumulations of stock or vehicles, as a result of the shut-down are removed/relocated safely. For example, move to locations where they do not present an enhanced fire risk
• Ensure that any new staff taken on following re-start up receive suitable training and are familiar with emergency procedures
• Carefully manage changes to stock inventories during the transition from closure to full production and ensure that it is fully documented
• Ensure that full return to ‘normal’ security arrangements are in place if these were impacted during the shut-down
• Ensure that increased storage levels of materials and equipment on the premises are suitably stored in order to reduce fire risk and security. This includes any flammable sanitiser gels and health related PPE
• Ensure that raw material suppliers and other essential supplies required for correct operation/production are in place. Should any alternative suppliers for non-generic materials or parts be used due to continuing
• disruption to normal suppliers, then these need to be subject to full risk assessment and Quality Assurance

Thanks to our insurer partners for their continued help & support. For any information relating to the specific details about your policy please speak with your normal insurance advisor or contact us.

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