WTW Construction Civil Disturbance Mitigation Planning Checklist

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Willis Towers Watson

Summary Statement

This checklist includes leading practices developed by Willis Towers Watson to help prepare and protect construction projects and "employees, trade partners and clients" during civil disturbances.
(May 2020)

As a result of recent outbreaks of civil unrest, the following was compiled to help construction projects prepare and protect not only their property but their most valuable assets: their employees, trade partners and clients. This checklist of industry leading practices has been prepared to support those activities.

◯  Review/develop an emergency preparedness and response plan including but not limited to:

  • □  Methodology/alert systems to allow for advanced warning of an upcoming event that could lead to civil disturbance.
  • □  Mitigation techniques such as those noted in this document to protect employees, workers and clients should an event occur.
  • □  Identification of primary and alternate muster point locations and evacuation procedures.
  • □  Collaboration with police and fire officials by inviting agencies to the project to understand logistics, layout and potential access/egress points should an event occur.
  • □  Updated emergency and crisis management contact information.
  • □  Employee training and education.

◯  Review/develop a site security plan including but not limited to:

  • □  Developed by a qualified consultant or security professional.
  • □   Ensure riot and civil disturbance exposures are addressed.
  • □   Incorporate threat analyses, vulnerability assessments, consequence analyses and security audits on a regular and ongoing basis.
  • □   Provide and maintain a third party security guard service, ensure security staff is trained as to how to communicate and not inadvertently escalate tensions with potential protestors.
  • □   Ensure third party security guards incorporate watchman style check in points when conducting rounds at critical points.
  • □  Employees and responsible parties understand and are aware of the procedures, once finalized, via training.

◯  To ensure reliance after an incident, solicit support from risk management partners to ensure applicable insurance coverage(s) are aligned with potential risks and reviewed regarding limits and terms, at a minimum.

◯  Solicit additional loss control prevention best practices from builders risk, property and casualty insurance company loss control professionals.

◯  Maintain and ensure an adequate communication system is in place to report incidents and keep all advised of any potential situations.

◯  Provide, consider and maintain electronic monitoring systems and technology such as video, fire, intrusion alarm and water leak detection. Consider motion activated technology, where applicable.

◯  Where video surveillance systems are in place and available ensure that:

  • □  Memory cards are refreshed and video equipment has ample off-site storage/cloud backup options.
  • □  Ensure video cameras are adjusted to focus on access/egress points, windows, doors, gates, loading docks, etc.
  • □  Ensure resolution settings are adjusted to allow for sufficient acuity to identify persons in various lighting conditions.
  • □  Ensure camera locations are not obstructed.

◯  Document pre-loss conditions by taking photos of project pre-existing conditions in anticipation of a future potential fire or theft claims, as well as, maintaining inventory of high value materials, equipment, etc.

◯  Ensure fire protection/suppression systems, where available, are activated and tested. Ensure standpipe systems are in place and accessible in accordance to local fire departments codes.

◯  Provide and maintain good lighting inside and exterior of the project.

◯  Secure entrances by providing/maintaining perimeter fencing in good repair with locked access points. Additionally:

  • □  Daily fence inspection responsibilities should be identified.
  • □  Check and repair any security gaps on the outer perimeter including openings that may exist (e.g. below truck entrance swing gates).
  • □  Ensure gate drop rods are secure and in place.
  • □  Do not store material or equipment along/adjacent to either side of a perimeter fence.
  • □  Consider privacy screening, where allowed.
  • □  To minimize theft potential, assess the need to upgrade locks and chains to a product that provides the most ideal protection and/or deterrent against bolt cutters. Bolt cutters are the most common tool utilized by a typical thief.

◯  Verify “No Trespassing” and/or “Authorized Construction Personnel Only” signs are in place.

◯  For existing buildings, ensure loading docks and garage entrances are locked and closed.

◯  Secure/relocate any tools and equipment that have the potential of being used as weapons.

◯  Secure/relocate any heavy equipment, scissor lifts, aerial lifts, bobcats, forklifts, etc.

◯  Secure the base of any tower crane access points.

◯  Secure/relocate any stored building material such as bricks, masonry, etc.

◯  Secure/relocate any flammable, compressed gasses, fuel sources or combustible materials.

◯  Utilize lockable steel Conex type boxes for storage of non-flammable material that cannot be relocated.

◯  Adjust and limit material deliveries to minimize storage onsite.

◯  Remove or empty any dumpsters prior to the end of the day.

◯  Remove any exterior trash chutes leading to dumpsters or ground level to prevent access and any unattended fires breaching the chute up into the building.

◯  Report to authorities any unusual activity, unaccounted for or out of place stored material such as bricks, debris, backpacks or duffle bags that are unattended, etc. in publicly accessible areas in or around the project.

◯  Remove any ground level ladder access points to platforms by end of the day, that may allow unintended access to any overhead sidewalk sheds, elevated work platforms, scaffolding systems, hoists, etc.

◯  Secure project office trailers with lock bars and additional window screens/bars or plywood protection, where possible.

◯  Awareness to changing curfews pursuant to local executive orders and consider postponing or minimizing any unnecessary night work or field inspections for your employees, including adjusting shift end time to allow employees to get home prior to dark.

◯  Educate employees regarding situational awareness and understanding of areas/locations to avoid where protest activity or crowds many accumulate.

◯  Employees should be instructed to never walk through a large crowd or protest when entering/leaving any project or building. Alternate entrance/exit points should be identified, where available.

◯  In situations where employees/workers may need to remain onsite during a disturbance, ensure adequate water, food and supplies are available.

◯  The carrying or storage of firearms should be prohibited on premise or within vehicles, regardless of permit.

◯  Maintain accurate headcounts (logs) of all employees, particularly, during off shift hours while checking in with them on a periodic basis.

◯  Designate “Safe Areas” or “Shelter in Place” locations as best you can, in case evacuation routes are cut off.

◯  Respect the rights of those involved in peaceful demonstrations. However, do not engage, provoke or interfere with protestors and stay clear of crowds.

◯  Let the authorities manage any disorderly protesting or potential riot situations.

◯  Lastly, but most importantly, heroes are not needed. Employees must play a defensive role relying on good communications, reporting and surveillance.


Robert Azarian
+1 201 888 4067

Mike Fredebeil
+1 770 815 6006

This guide was not intended to be complete nor was it intended to assure compliance to any local, city, state or federal regulations as they apply. The guide is provided for informational purposes only.

Willis Towers Watson hopes you found the general information provided in this publication informative and helpful. The information contained herein is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with your own legal advisors. In the event you would like more information regarding your insurance coverage, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. In North America, Willis Towers Watson offers insurance products through licensed subsidiaries of Willis North America Inc., including Willis Towers Watson Northeast, Inc. (in the United States) and Willis of Canada, Inc.

About Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. With roots dating to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has 45,000 employees serving more than 140 countries and markets. We design and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits, cultivate talent, and expand the power of capital to protect and strengthen institutions and individuals. Our unique perspective allows us to see the critical intersections between talent, assets and ideas — the dynamic formula that drives business performance. Together, we unlock potential. Learn more at willistowerswatson.com.

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