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Operational risk

Operational risks are risks caused by inadequate or ineffective processes, people, equipment, systems or external events. The main goal of operational risk management is to reduce the effect of unwanted events. In order to meet the objective, the group is developing internal processes and control systems. In order to ensure the group’s high level of project management, project teams are continuously trained, business processes are improved and results are monitored.

Considering the group’s field of business, it is essential in operational risk management that the improvement and application of safety standards and regulations continues and that supervision of compliance with environmental requirements is increased. One measure for managing operational risks is the implementation of quality and environmental management systems. Risks related to occupational health and safety in construction are assessed and managed in all units and process stages of the group. The largest construction companies of the group have implemented quality management system ISO 9001 and environmental management system ISO 1400 and health and safety management system OHSAS 18001. All management systems are certified. The group employs full-time quality specialists who are responsible for developing quality, safety and management systems and ensuring their functioning.

Insurance is used as additional mitigation of operational risks, especially for risks that cannot otherwise be mitigated. The group concludes total risk insurance contracts with insurance companies in order to hedge the risk of unanticipated loss events occurring in the construction process. The general policy is entered into for one year and it compensates the customer, subcontractors and third parties for any losses caused by Merko Ehitus or its subcontractor. The risks of the projects which the annual policy does not cover (water construction, railroad construction, bridges, etc.) are additionally mapped out and an insurance contract is concluded separately for each object taking into consideration its peculiarities. In concluding contracts for services involving design work, an insurance contract for professional liability is required from subcontractors or an insurance contract at own expense is concluded, covering the damage arising from design, erroneous measurement, advice and instructions. The services of insurance brokers are used in mapping out risks, concluding insurance contracts and handling loss events.

A warranty provision has been provided at the company to cover for the construction errors which have become evident during the warranty period. With regard to work performed by subcontractors, the subcontractors are responsible for elimination of defects that became evident during the warranty period. With regard to critically significant contracts, the performance of contractual obligations of the contractor arising from contracts of services is guaranteed with bank guarantees to be paid upon first demand.