Body cameras to capture cladding remediation work

Leading insurer, AXA UK, has announced that it will provide body cameras to cladding contractors while they carry out essential safety work.

In a press release dated 23 November 2023, AXA UK confirmed that it would be supplying body cameras during the removal of flammable cladding and insulation from dozens of multi-occupancy higher-risk buildings so that ongoing work could be “monitored and saved for future reference”.

These recordings will “provide detailed information about materials used, together with evidence of working practices and site management for the areas being refurbished”.

As the insurer explains, the extent of fire safety deficiencies in high-rise buildings became increasingly apparent in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, with AXA UK admitting that some of its customers’ properties “now require remediation to make them safer and more resilient to fire”. One of the major challenges the company faces is having a clear idea of the number of buildings requiring remediation work:

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,” the insurer notes.

As a result, the insurer will deploy Motorola Solutions VT100 body cameras for contractors to use when responding to incidents. The cameras allow live streaming, enabling workers to directly liaise with AXA’s risk engineers while also removing the need to take photos or down tools while they work.

Dougie Barnett, Director of Customer Risk Management at AXA Commercial, 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.”

Motorola Solutions’ UK and Ireland Country Manager, Fergus Mayne adds: “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.”