June 5, 2020, marked the day that restrictions were lifted on many businesses in Ontario, including lodges, cabins, and cottages. As you prepare your business and welcome your guests, a robust risk management plan is your best ally in protecting yourself and your business operations from a claim, especially during these unprecedented times.
At Gougeon, our passion is to help our clients simplify the chaos of risk. During these challenging times, we have been working with our clients to ensure they are developing and maintaining a risk management plan to re-open their operations. Some of the critical components of a risk management plan are detailed below.
1. Inspection Log Sheets
- Inspect identified “risk areas” regularly and document each inspection on detailed log sheets. Examples of high-risk areas could include playgrounds, equipment, and water toys (i.e.: trampolines).
- Log sheets should include the time of inspection, inspector name, conditions, and areas inspected.
2. Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols
- Establish regular cleaning/disinfecting protocols of high touch surfaces and common areas. Document all cleaning/disinfecting on log sheets that indicate time of cleaning/disinfecting, who performed the cleaning, products used, and the cleaned areas. See our Resource Centre to download a sample Cleaning and Maintenance log.
- Proper signage should be placed strategically in high-risk areas, for example, at the waterfront/beach. Other areas could include playgrounds, uneven ground, pools, saunas, and hot tubs.
4. Screening Protocols
- A documented screening protocol for all guests and visitors on-site may be required (consult your local Public Health Unit). Accurate names of all guests show your due diligence in ensuring the safety of your guests and employees. See our Resource Centre to download a sample COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire.
Waiver Management For Tourism Operators
A waiver is a key component of your overall risk management plan however, we recommend that you obtain legal advice. Gougeon, in partnership with our summer resort program lawyers, has developed a waiver management package, containing language specific to COVID-19.
Having a detailed risk management plan encompasses all aspects of risk awareness and safety awareness. Reach out to your broker to help you create a risk management plan that is specific to your business operations. You can also contact us or visit our Resource Centre to gain access to sample Maintenance Log Sheets and COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire. We're here to help!
Below are some additional resources from tourism associations:
- Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO) compiled a plethora of COVID-19 resources, including cleaning protocols and product recommendations.
- Resorts of Ontario developed a Business Continuity Plan that can be downloaded here.
- Register for the Adapt 2020 webinar series hosted by Tourism Excellence North.
- Review the Public Health Ontario website for valuable resources such as information on Contact Tracing, and a Disinfectant Table to aid in accurately mixing your cleaning products.
Strong risk principles ensure that you are providing the safest environment for your customers, clients or guests and it shows your staff that their health and safety are also paramount.