AXA UK is providing body cameras to contractors so they can record essential safety work to buildings containing flammable cladding and insulation. The recordings will provide detailed information about materials used, together with evidence of working practices and site management for the areas being refurbished.
The danger of flammable cladding was highlighted by the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, and some of AXA UK’s customers’ properties now require remediation to make them safer and more resilient to fire.
However, a lack of records of the materials used in the construction of multi-occupancy buildings like Grenfell sets a huge challenge in identifying those that are affected and what needs to be replaced. Flammable insulation and poor workmanship can be hidden beneath external cladding, and evidence of what has been done has often been impossible to trace once work is completed and contractors have left site.
Dougie Barnett, AXA Commercial’s Director of Customer Risk Management said: “We decided to use this cutting-edge technology to record evidence of the remediation work and securely store it in the cloud for reference. Our Business Resilience Team has been capturing videos of commercial risks in this way for the past three years for underwriters to review, so it made sense to extend this practice to these building remediations. It means underwriters can clearly see what’s been done when they assess risk and provide a quote with confidence, both now and in the future.
“We are funding this initiative to protect our customers and ensure the work is carried out to the required standard using the correct materials. We’ll also have evidence of how protection systems such as sprinklers and alarms are installed, with this weekly video capture supplementing our regular visits to individual sites. When the work is completed, it should result in the remediated buildings being an improved risk, which will have a positive impact on policy premiums, so it’s important for everyone involved in the process to have a clear view of what’s happening.”
AXA UK will use Motorola Solutions VT100 body cameras when responding to incidents. The video can be live streamed if required so contractors can liaise directly with AXA risk engineers. All records are stored using secure cloud technology, ensuring material captured cannot be edited or tampered with. This technology is trusted by the UK’s emergency services and law enforcement organisations across the globe. Those working on the buildings can wear the cameras on their person so there’s no need to down tools to film or take photos.
“Body cameras are proving to be an increasingly useful tool across a variety of industry sectors and use cases. By providing an objective record of events which can be easily captured, stored and utilised, body cameras are helping organisations to operate more effectively and provide value to their customers” said Fergus Mayne, UK and Ireland Country Manager at Motorola Solutions.
AXA UK is supporting customers whose properties have been affected by this issue. The insurer is keeping premiums as low as possible despite the increased risk associated with these buildings, which are amongst the most hazardous construction types. Where buildings are renovated, AXA UK has honoured its commitment to reduce premiums to reflect the reduced risk.