Field to Fork: Spring 2020
Responding to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
While your Gallagher team works from home and practices social distancing, we remain, as always, dedicated to providing the same quality of risk management and insurance expertise. The only change is that we are restricted from visiting you at your place of business.
From farms and feedlots to food manufacturers and grocery stores, there hasn’t been a stronger focus on our food chain in the last 25 years. Gallagher’s Food & Agribusiness practice has always found our mission in helping clients understand and reduce their cost of risk for companies that feed the world. That has not changed. We are just delivering it differently.
We are helping clients design strategies to protect their employees, understand coverage, present claims to insurers, reduce premiums, maintain liquidity, expand coverage to meet the needs of changing operations, make data-driven decisions and much more. Our deep expertise is an advantage for our clients. We have provided sound counsel during past crises, and we will continue to support our clients during this pandemic.
Please continue to follow local guidelines for combating COVID-19 and stay healthy.
Download our food and agribusiness report, Responding to the Coronavirus, featuring tips to ensure the safety of your employees and key coverages to review with their broker. For additional COVID-19 resources, visit Gallagher’s Pandemic Resource page.
Controlling COVID-19 exposures in agriculture and livestock operations
Gallagher National Risk Control
2850 Golf Road
Rolling Mead7ows, IL 60008
We have all heard the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other experts telling us that the best methods of controlling exposure to COVID-19 are social distancing, disinfecting contaminated surfaces and washing our hands.
Employees in farming and livestock operations by nature often work alone or at some distance from each other, so on the surface, managing social distance throughout the workday is not too difficult. On the other hand, employees also share meals, take breaks together and share common equipment. Minimizing or eliminating contact is not only important to employee health and safety, it can also reduce the risk of business interruption due to decreased staffing.
Additionally, agriculture and livestock operations can get dirty, so keeping work areas sanitary is often a never-ending chore. The problem is not the dirt that we can see, but the virus that we can’t see.
Below are some helpful tips on social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting from CDC recommendations adapted to the agricultural environment.
Break rooms and meals
- Ensure that countertops, break tables, appliances and high-touch areas such as door handles and chairs are cleaned and sanitized daily or, better yet, three times per day.
- If a break area is small, consider staggering meals and breaks to maintain six feet of social distancing.
- Discontinue communal meals, completely clean cooking and prep areas, discard all trash, and empty the trash containers immediately following each meal.
Common work areas
- Develop a routine daily cleanup and sanitation checklist. Assigning responsible individuals and holding staff accountable is essential.
- Make sure that sanitation materials are stocked and available at all times.
- Pay particular attention to high-touch areas like time clocks, water fountains, telephones and computer keyboards. Attention should also be increased for toilet facilities, showers and dressing areas.
Shared tools and equipment
- Hand tools and power tools are commonly shared items that are often used by multiple individuals on any given day. The good news is most of these items are nonporous and can be sprayed down after use with disinfectants.
- It is important to remove gross accumulations of dirt and grime before disinfecting so that the disinfectant can reach the surface to be cleaned. Pay particular attention to handles and work surfaces.
Mobile equipment and company vehicles
- Feed trucks, tractors, skid loaders and pickups are commonly used by multiple operators per day. The cabs and controls of this equipment should be cleaned and disinfected between each operator change. In addition to seats, steering wheels and controls, don’t forget seat belts and other porous surfaces.
- The best practice is for the operator leaving the equipment to clean and disinfect before turning it over to the next operator, and then a second follow-up by the ongoing operator.
Personal protective equipment
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, hard hats, rubber boots, safety glasses and, of course, respirators should not be shared.
- Reusable PPE should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily, and stored in sealed protective containers to prevent the accumulation of dust and debris when not in use.
- Disposable PPE such as dust masks, nitrile gloves and earplugs should be discarded in covered waste containers that are emptied daily.
- Nitrile gloves should be removed by hooking a fingertip under the outer surface of the wrist on one hand with the other and pulling the glove off inside out, down to the fingers. Follow the same process on the other hand so that the gloves are turned inside out, one inside of the other, once they are removed.
The good news is that many of the products that are used regularly to clean and disinfect agricultural and livestock production areas are also effective for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published several resources to help identify these materials.
The first resource is List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2. It is important to note the active ingredient may be found in many products under different formulations and brand names. Here is the link to the EPA website (This list continues to be updates as additional products are tested).
The CDC also provides guidance for disinfection. These are household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions of at least 70% alcohol and most common EPA-registered disinfectants. The proper dilution rate for household bleach to be used as a disinfectant spray is one-third cup or five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. For smaller quantities, use four teaspoons of bleach per quart of water. For more information, visit the CDC website.
It is important to use the proper dilution rate and contact time to ensure that disinfectants are effective. If the contact time is not sufficient, the product may not work properly.
Proper sanitation and disinfection is critical to keeping employees safe from COVID-19 as well as the flu and other illnesses. Using the proper products and cleaning procedures can help keep these pathogens at bay, and reduce the threat to production and workplace safety.
Gallagher National Risk Control
2850 Golf Road
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Infrared thermography applications can positively affect your client by helping them see the unseen.
Infrared thermography has a number of diverse uses that can help your clients reduce risk exposures across many facets of their operations. Through the use of thermographic imaging cameras and specialized computer software, heat signatures can be detected and analyzed to determine if there are problems that would otherwise go undetected. The visible images are generated from detected infrared energy emitted from/by objects. This technology has been around for some time, but has become much more popular in recent years. The reduced cost of the equipment, the improved technology and the vast training options have made infrared thermography a very cost-effective means of risk management.
Thermal imaging is noninvasive, nondestructive testing and can provide a wide array of applications, including manufacturing and fabrication, concrete work, agriculture, home inspection, roofing, electrical distribution, medical, healthcare, and veterinary science.
Infrared thermography may be conducted periodically as part of a planned maintenance program, but it is also a great tool for troubleshooting problem areas. Access to certified infrared thermography professionals may range from private contractors to insurance carriers. The Omaha Gallagher office has utilized this technology over the past decade to assist clients in swine, dairy and beef cattle production as well as feed mill and grain handling operations. In recent years, services have expanded to include anhydrous ammonia production, steel foundry and corrugated box manufacture. The Omaha office continues to expand the scope of service and capabilities to other clients beyond agriculture.
The use of infrared technology is far-reaching and may be a very impactful tool as part of your loss control package. Whether you choose a carrier to perform work or a private contractor, ensure they are familiar with the scope of work you need completed.
Minimize unwanted surprises and protect your property assets with professional building appraisals
Professional appraisals strengthen your balance sheet to ensure your organization’s property assets are properly valued, while serving as a guide to help you determine appropriate property insurance limits.
Engage your insurance broker to identify specific areas within your current statement of values that may benefit from a formal, on-site professional building valuation process. Proactively investing time and resources to expedite appraisals now will also proactively support the renewal process with your insurance carrier.
What’s in it for you? Improved underwriting results and minimized potential liability from unanticipated adverse claims resolution due to inaccurate, undervalued property.
An updated property insurance appraisal enables owners and principal stakeholders to protect investments and receive maximum value in a loss. A current replacement cost appraisal also minimizes the potential premium cost of overinsuring and the unacceptable cost of being underinsured.
Benefits of a current building insurance appraisal
- Ensures that you are properly insured. Third-party property insurance appraisals aid in determining property limits required to replace your building assets.
- Documents the organization’s risk profile quality—superior valuation, written reports and current construction data (including specifications) required for premium quotations.
- Empowers organizational leadership to clarify tangible solutions to protect existing assets.
- Provides documentation for proof of loss in the event of a full or partial loss.
- Accurately reflects current valuation for new building construction or completed renovations.
- On-site appraisal inspections confirm accuracy of building square footage, construction materials/components, construction quality and building features, such as security systems, cameras, other specified building assets and/or improvements.
Completed appraisals provide due diligence to help support decision-making when considering alternative policy structure, deductible options, and multicarrier shared and layered programs.
Updated appraisals are recommended every three to five years, conducted by reputable firms familiar with similar industry facilities. When bidding on work, written appraisal quotes are advisable, detailing on-site service provided, travel and expediting expenses, and anticipated time frame to complete.
Your Gallagher advisor is available to answer related questions and provide additional information upon request, including a written proposal from the appraisal team of Gallagher Basset, our subsidiary company.