Risk in business is a given. Having insurance against those risks offers some protection, but it’s how well you understand the risks you face and how to mitigate them that makes the real difference. Nicholas Kerry, risk consultant at UK insurance broker Gallagher, explains how a risk management strategy can help to manage those issues and takes a closer look at a key risk area for all businesses: health and safety.

It is a fact that organisations face a multiplicity of risks, and the more risks you can identify and offset, the better protected your business will be to cope with the unexpected. Increasingly, it is legislative requirement or regulatory compliance that is driving firms to identify, plan for and mitigate the risks they face. On paper it’s a chore; in reality it can be a serious challenge, especially if you lack the resources or technical knowledge you need to optimise your risk exposure.

No organisation wants to fall foul of regulators or lose the confidence of its customers or people – especially when the consequences of an incident can mean damage to sales, loss of trading ability or even imprisonment. A well planned and alert risk management strategy gives clarity to the varied risks you face and how they translate into clear and present threats to your business. Anticipating these threats is your key to best practice, a healthier bottom line and an enhanced commercial reputation.

Risk Management and planning can cover various business areas including:

  • Health and Safety
  • Business Continuity
  • Fire safety
  • Crisis Management
  • Fleet Management
  • Security
  • General maintenance

Health & Safety risk management

One of the key risk areas affecting all businesses and organisations is health and safety. Managing health & safety at work has been a legal requirement since 1974. Done right, good health and safety risk management will support your business, not stifle it. Creating a robust strategy to mitigate these risks can help to reduce the likelihood of health and safety claims and improve your defensibility. It’s important that you understand your legal obligations as they relate to your industry and business, and develop solutions which are fit for purpose. Whilst the easier option may be to utilise generic systems and templates, it’s important that a risk management strategy is tailored to your business.

A key exercise for organisations to undertake when creating their health and safety risk management strategy is to first undertake a risk assessment. To do this you need to think about what might cause harm to people and decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm. Businesses should:

  • Identify the risks – ask what can harm people in your workplace
  • Who is at risk – identify who is at risk and how
  • Adding controls – looking closer into each risk, decide what appropriate controls are in place, what the gaps are, and what you need to do to bring those controls in line to offer the desired protection
  • Record you risk assessment – make a record that you can refer back to and present as evidence, should it be required
  • Review – businesses are constantly evolving and changing, and so do risks, so make sure you regularly review and update your assessment.

Specialist IOSH Training

The Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR), Regulations 7 and 8 require employers to appoint competent persons to assist them in meeting their legal obligations for the health, safety and welfare of employees (and also anyone else who may be affected by the employer’s activities).

As accredited trainers for the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), Gallagher delivers a three-day ‘Managing Safely’ course which provides managers, supervisors and staff with the skills they need to manage effective health and safety programmes and the tools they need to recognise potential issues in their organisations. The course covers content including:

  • Introducing managing safely
  • Assessing and controlling risks
  • Understanding your responsibilities
  • Identifying hazards
  • Investigating accidents and incidents
  • Measuring performance.

The next course will be held in Glasgow from 24th-26th October 2018.

Good risk management needn’t be complicated. If you’d like to discuss your business’s needs or you’d like to register to attend our ‘Managing Safely’ course, please contact Nicholas Kerry:

T: 0114 233 3204

E: Nicholas_kerry@ajg.com

W: www.ajginternational.com