Assistant Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

October 15, 2019

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business flood

Arco offers advice to prevent flood damage

Arco has offered advice on how employers can protect their businesses in the event of a flood.

sandbag protection for flood

Excessive rainfall can lead to floods, which can cause damage to business sites. Preparing for extreme weather conditions as such, could be the lifeline in protecting your business. Arco is encouraging employers, especially those in high-risk areas to stay updated with their local weather forecast. Resources such the Met Office weather and the Environment Agency give alerts to areas where potential floods can happen.

The cost of damage to commercial properties from flooding, could increase from £560 million to £3 billion per annum by the 2050s in the UK, according to the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs. 2015 saw the wettest winter in record, the Association of British Insurers estimated that there was around £1.3 billion of claims for flood damage.

If a business property is damaged because of a flood, this will not only affect the infrastructure of an organisation, but can also slow workflow, decrease productivity or in worst scenarios, suspend access to the business site temporarily. Arco state that preventative measures such as sandbags and door barriers, could mean the difference between a huge financial loss for rejuvenation, and a relatively simple clean-up job.

The environment Agency also stated that, by pre-planning clear instructions on what to do for employers and employees, this can help ensure that the correct and sufficient protection is used in case of a flood, and employers could save up to 90% of the cost of flood-damage equipment. Therefore, Arco advises organisations to create a ‘flood action plan’ which is a pack of useful documents, a kit of essential items and clear steps on what to do in the event of a flood.

Arco has listed a range of flood barriers, that are easy to assemble and can be useful for absorbing up to 20 litres of water each, such as:

  • The HydroSack sandbag;
  • The Hydrosnake sandbag and,
  • The high flood-stop barrier.

Hygiene and PPE 

The impact of flooding can be devastating, not just because of the initial damage on the property and its contents, but also the affect it can have on safety and hygiene standards. Flooding may also put employees at risk and stops work in its tracks, affecting productivity and profits, so it’s important to have flood protection in place in case the worst should happen.

Hygiene should be prioritised during a flood, as many health risks can arise from it, for example when waste water and flood water mix. Arco has stressed that the most effective way to prevent the mixture is by installing panseals, particularly to properties that have ground floor toilets.

As well as protection for building sites, personal protection is also crucial to prevent injury from contaminated flood water. Animal waste, sewage and chemicals can all be mixed together and consumed by an individual if protection is not provided. Flooding can also increase the risks of slips, trips and falls on slippery surfaces, so correct footwear is important. Arco also stresses that wearing waterproof clothing, eye protection and hand protection, should be added to flood emergency kits.


Arco launches Innovation Award 2019

Barbour Download: A Technical Guide to Sprinkler Systems

There is no general legal requirement for sprinkler systems to be installed in a place of work but there may be circumstances where sprinklers are required.

This guide provides an overview of the need-to-know information for sprinklers and covers:

  • The legal requirements
  • More information about sprinkler systems
  • Key actions
  • Key terms
  • And more

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