Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Evaluating the Exposure Level of Your Facility

Returning once again to the ASHRAE draft guideline on risk management for safety in buildings, the Guideline provides examples of categories that building owners and operators should consider in assessing the exposure level of a facility.

Begin with people count --- how many individuals can be in the building at any given time? Also consider building function -- what is the subjective value of the operation within the building to society, other businesses (including competitors), and internal customers? In this connection, take into account any threats received -- have any individuals or organizations communicated threats or ill will toward the building occupants or the business? What is the time required to recover the operation of the building -- the longer it would take to return to normal business operations, the greater the exposure. And finally, what dollar value can be placed on the equipment, services, information and products within and produced by the facility?

Each of these categories, along with others that are important to the building owner and operator, can be assigned an exposure level (low, medium or high) and then within those exposure levels can be assigned a value or range of values. When that is done, a weighing factor should be applied to each category to arrive at an overall exposure level for the facility.

For more detail on evaluating the exposure level of your facility, read Appendix A of the Guideline. A current edition of the Guideline may be obtained by going to (Today's entry was published by Karen Carey of Womble Carlyle's construction and real estate development group.)


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