Risk assessment is a vital aspect of any management overview process. You have a duty of care to your employees and part of that is assessing what aspects might affect them in their day to day.
The HSE puts it best; there are some bare minimums you need to do:
- Identify what hazards could cause injury in your business
- Decide how likely the risk is to someone
- Take actions to eliminate the hazard or at least control it
But as we said, this is the bare minimum. There is always more you could – and should be doing. Here’s our guide to effective risk assessment that could improve your safety and operations.
Identifying the risk
Yes, we realise we just said this is a basic first step, but it’s worth talking about how you approach identifying risks.
When starting your risk assessment, make sure to involve all relevant parties. Depending on the size of your business, this could involve everyone from managers up to CXOs or stakeholders. You need everyone to be on the same page and understand all risks at every level. It also opens the conversation to multiple viewpoints, allowing you to get a fuller picture of the situation.
It should also be an open forum free of judgement, so people feel free to express their opinions. You can’t risk a situation where executives reach a conclusion without having considered everything. It also levels the field, allowing lower management, who might be more intimately familiar with the risks, the opportunity to speak about what they see as daily hazards.
It’s highly likely your business will change over time. We want to stay ahead of the curve – ahead of our competitors. If and when it does, you will have to reassess your risks. These changes could alter how your risks present themselves or introduce new ones altogether.
It’s prudent to do it every time you change something. And even if you don’t, coming back to it once a year is ideal. Follow the same process as above so you still have as clear a picture of the risk as possible.
Also, pay attention to how your efforts apply in real life. It’s one thing to devise a risk management strategy, but it’s another to see if it actually works. Remember the third point above – you need to actually take action to minimise the risks. By taking note of how it integrates into operations, you’ll have reliable evidence to take into your next risk assessment.
You will likely have to record any findings from your risk assessment for future reference. It proves due diligence and can be called upon later when you need to reassess. But if you want more effective risk assessment, get your files in order!
Find a system that works for you, that lets you keep tabs on all your findings. You don’t want to come to it in the future only to find you have to spend hours searching for what you need. Organise your files so they are easily accessible and well organised. It will also make reporting results to bodies such as the board that much easier.
Today, you should have a digital solution for such a challenge. A specific system designed to organise all your documents is best. Ultimately, risk assessment is an area where you can’t cut any corners. You are responsible for people’s safety and this should be treated with the utmost care – above anything like profits. Better risk assessment just makes you a better business, period.
At Inform People, we make document organisation one of the easiest parts of your day. It makes risk assessment that much simpler, allowing your operations to continue smoothly. If you’d like to find out more, feel free to get in touch on 0161 713 4104.