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Marsh has worked closely with the senior management and compliance team at Countrystyle over the last 12 months to address a number of areas of risk management practice. The principal benefit of this exercise has been to identify and manage key risks that Countrystyle faces. In addition to making the risk more attractive to the insurance market, the work undertaken has helped to build greater resilience into the Countrystyle business to absorb the impact of major losses, should they occur.

One of the key projects undertaken with the Countrystyle team has involved addressing the exposure at its wood recycling operation at Ridham Sea Terminals, Kent. The volumes fluctuate considerably with the seasons, leading at times during the summer months to large volumes of processed wood being stored in the open. Working in conjunction with the Environment Agency, Kent Fire & Rescue Service and its property insurer, Countrystyle has designed and implemented a storage solution to mitigate both the fire inception hazard and the spread of fire risk.

This project included:
• the construction of A1 fire rated concrete bunkers, designed to maximise separation distances between the apexes of the stockpiles;
• the design and implementation of an effective water drench and dust management system;
• fire training for all team leaders and key members of staff and the construction of a command and control facility overlooking the wood stockpiles;
• real time temperature monitoring of the stockpiles;
• a comprehensive and effective 12 month per annum wood off-take plan.

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In addition to the major project at the wood recycling operation, Countrystyle has worked on a number of other key risk areas during the past year, including:
• investment in fire suppression equipment for items of mobile and static plant;
• an on-going focus on health and safety, with investment in a new style of personal protective equipment (PPE) and reviews of all risk assessments and safe systems of work across the whole business;
• new traffic management plans across all operating sites; and
• fitting of cameras on Countrystyle’s Artic, Dustcart and RoRo fleets.

By embracing risk management Countrystyle has made material improvements to a number of key risk exposures and embedded sound disciplines that will be recognised by insurers at the renewal of their annual insurance process.

A company’s approach to risk management should, of course, never remain static: Countrystyle has already identified a number of projects for action early in 2016.

Robert Kirkpatrick, Vice President, Client Executive, Marsh Ltd