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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Multi-Faceted Nature of Property Damage at a Place of Business

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak explains the importance of understanding damage intersection and the hazard matrix of commercial property damage.

SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak understands the complexity of commercial property damage in Corsicana, TX. An awareness of the multi-faceted dimension of the disaster means the professionals at SERVPRO will address the totality of the situation in order to implement a restoration project that results in a safe, functional working environment for employees, vendors, and customers. The certified, experienced technicians identify the full scope of the damage and work to mitigate the effects of the disaster. Businesses, institutions, distribution centers, and manufacturing units can trust SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak to restore the damaged area.

When a disaster strikes

OSHA highlights the complicated nature of a property damage disaster in an agency publication on natural disasters. “Natural disasters can cause widespread flooding and damage to property and infrastructure. Cleanup and recovery activities involve hazards that can cause serious injuries or death. OSHA urges employers and workers engaged in cleanup and recovery to be aware of these hazards and how to protect workers.”

The information circular continues with the following directives to employers and employees: “If you are an employer, worker, homeowner, or member of the public involved in cleanup and recovery activities, it is important that you assess the potential for hazardous conditions and/or exposures before you engage in these activities. Based on an initial assessment of hazards, employers need to provide workers with the appropriate personal protective equipment, training, and information to safely perform the work.”

OSHA stresses the importance that employees involved in the cleanup process carefully assess the potential for hazardous conditions and/or exposures prior to engaging in cleanup and restoration activities.

Employers are advised to pay special attention to the outline of the hazard matrix described below. It is unreasonable to expect employees untrained and inexperienced in dealing with a property damage disaster to accurately assess the scope of the disaster, as well as the obvious and hidden health dangers encompassed in the unique hazard matrix of the disaster. Workplace liabilities and likelihood of litigation can have a long-term effect on the profitability and viability of the company. These unforeseen future costs can be devastating.

The accurate assessment of the complex and multi-faceted hazard matrix of a commercial property damage disaster requires the expertise of a trained professional. In a commercial environment, even a simple sprinkler malfunction can spiral into a complex toxic waste cleanup. Certain types of dangerous chemicals can be activated by water, and cleanup will involve more than just water removal. Full personal protective gear (PPG), safe ventilation, and proper disposal of the toxic water may be required.

Damage intersection

A hazard matrix takes stock of damage intersections. A fire damage disaster involves the intersection of damage from the fire, smoke damage, water damage, and toxic substances. Damage cleanup and restoration requires commercial-grade equipment, highly trained technicians, and PPG that ensures personal safety. In some cases, deconstruction or demolition by fire personnel may create physical hazards for employees and cleanup crews.

Other components of damage intersection that complicate the hazard matrix and create potentially deadly cleanup and restoration situations include the following:

  • Dust and ash
  • Foam or other chemicals utilized in the extinguishing of the blaze
  • Sewage spills from damaged pipes
  • Toxic spills from containment vessels damaged by flooding, storms, or fire
  • Chemicals/toxins/gas/particulate debris from raw materials used in the manufacturing process
  • Asbestos release in older buildings that may be out of compliance
  • Mercury from lights
  • Lead in old paint
  • Dioxin
  • Outdated chemicals stored on-site
  • Combustibles, explosives, etc.

Even though OSHA lays out principles to guide employers and employees when engaging in a property damage cleanup and restoration project, extreme care should be exercised. Violation of a corporate policy addressing the involvement of untrained employees could result in litigation. Union employees may be limited to the scope of work in their labor contract. Breaches of protocol could also jeopardize commercial insurance coverage for the property damage.

Overcoming the challenges of a complicated hazard matrix

The best, safest, and most efficient property damage restoration solution is to outsource the project to a licensed, bonded, insured, and certified property damage restoration company. Damage restoration technicians have the experience, training, equipment, and skills to accurately assess the complexities of a multi-faceted property damage disaster. A commercial environment involves staff, employees, vendors, and customers, and the safety of these parties must not be compromised.

The goal is to achieve a return to normal business operations as quickly and as safely as possible. The professionals at SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak can assess the damage, taking into consideration the hazard matrix and the intersection of the various aspects of property damage, whether fire, smoke, water, or flood damage. The business owner can trust SERVPRO to maintain the highest safety and health standards for the technicians.

The best time to choose a commercial damage restoration company is before a disaster strikes. SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak offers commercial customers an industry-standard Ready Plan that facilitates a fast response, inspection and assessment, and staging activities. A pre-planned staging protocol can shave hours or days off the overall cleanup and restoration project.

For more information about commercial damage restoration services in Corsicana, TX, contact the SERVPRO of Ennis/Red Oak office by phone at (972) 937-1494 or by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

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