So, you are a leader in an organization, congratulations! Whether it is a business, a community group, a school, or any other organization, leadership is something to be celebrated.
As part of your participation in this organization, have you been a part of a formal risk assessment?
Have you led a formal risk assessment?
What’s that? You don’t have a formal risk assessment?
I too, like to live dangerously!
You see, a Risk Assessment is about more than just ticking a box on an insurance form, in fact it’s crucial to ensuring that your organization is ready and prepared no matter what happens. An effective Risk Assessment will help you determine what kind of insurance you need, what first aid supplies you should have on hand, what kind of emergency procedures, and many more details about how your organization operates.
Risk Assessment Models
There are dozens, if not hundreds of Risk Assessment models available, each of them geared towards a specific need. Many of them are highly refined and very complex, but those don’t necessarily meet the needs of your organization. If you don’t have a dedicated Emergency Management or Business Continuity professional on staff, then you likely need a simple Risk Assessment Model like the four-quadrant Risk Assessment.
This is the most basic of risk assessments, and evaluates risks based on their frequency (either high or low), and impact (high or low). Then the risk is mapped into the appropriate quadrant along with all of the other risks so that you can evaluate the priority in which the risks should be dealt with.
What Exactly Are Risks?
A risk is anything that could cause damage to your, your employees, your customers, your physical location, or your reputation. They include natural risks like windstorms, earthquakes, blizzards, and flooding. They also include human-caused risks like motor vehicle collisions, train derailments, chemical spills, and active shooters. They could be due to infrastructure failure like water or sewer problems, power failure, IT and communications failure, or even a road closure due to construction.
Not every risk applies to every organization, some have activity-based risks. These risks apply to organizations that run sporting events, adventure-based activities like hiking, even things like archery and axe throwing have their own specific set of risks. As the experts on your organization, you and the rest of the leadership team need to sit down and figure out what your risks are.
Risks change and evolve over time. Maybe your organization has changed locations, or started a new activity. Perhaps changes outside of your organization have changed the risks and how they affect your organization. Maybe there are new people involved who have new strengths or weaknesses that change the risk involved.
A Risk Assessment needs to be done on a regular basis, at least once a year or if something in your organization changes. In addition, if you are undertaking an adventure-based activity such as hiking or camping, you need to perform a risk assessment every time you go to do that activity.
Everyone wants everything in their organization to go right, and we often plan as if they will. We need to give just as much attention to what happens if things go wrong, and make sure that we are comfortable with the amount of risk our organization is facing.
If you would like help in performing a risk assessment for your organization, contact a reputable Emergency Management Consultant in your area. We are among the leading experts in risk assessments and can help make sure you have the appropriate plans in place to reduce your risk.