Friday, April 30, 2010

Emergency Management

Emergency Management, in the context of risk management, refers to the discipline of dealing with and, if possible, avoiding foreseeable risks. There are three key components to Emergency Management: Mitigation, Preparedness & Response and finally Recovery.

Mitigation – The process of assessing possible risks and taking preventative actions; i.e. isolating hazardous chemicals to secure employee safety.

Preparedness & Response – The process of preparing adequate contingency plans in the event of an emergency, determining how they will be implemented and by whom; i.e. how to care for employees exposed to hazard(s).

Recovery – The process of preparing detailed plans with action points and/or corrective actions; i.e. knowing how the organization will alleviate the hazard(s), move forward with employee care, public relations, etc.

Risk Assessment

A fundamental component of risk management is the process of risk assessment. During this stage of the risk management process, before an organization may implement a risk management plan, they must determine the core quantitative and qualitative values of risk related to a project.

Quantitative: Broken into two parts:
- The likelihood of occurrence
- The calculation of an assets expected capital loss; i.e. loss of raw materials
Qualitative: Broken into two parts:
- The likelihood of occurrence
- The calculation of an assets expected intangible loss; i.e. goodwill

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Risk Management Communication

While it is neither practical nor cost effective for an organization to attempt to totally eliminate risk, they must accept some level of residual risk; however, this does not mean that risk managers shouldn’t be proactive in preempting unnecessary risk. To accomplish this task, their greatest tool is effective risk communication.

The central goal of risk communication is to improve the collection and dispersal of data within an organization. With improved data flow, managers are better able to make informed, accurate decisions.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, risk communication professionals should:
- Listen to specific concerns
- Operate openly
- Coordinate and collaborate with other parties

Risk & Project Management:

To effectively mitigate risk when implementing organizational initiatives or projects, risk & project managers should be advised to do the following:

- Determine how risk will be managed; ensure there is a clear plan of action and emergency capital. Questions to ask are: How will this risk be resolved? By and with what means? When? By Whom?
- Indicate a clear chain of command; detailed responsibilities and action points are vital.
- Ensure all team members have clear communication channels by which they may report foreseen risk in the project.
- Maintain an accurate project database. Risks should be ordered by date, probability, importance and cost.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Enterprise Risk Management

Enterprise Risk Management, or ERM, is a framework, or simply a series of methods and processes, used by organizations to manage risks and seize opportunities related to organizational objectives.

This framework is typically condition based. Usually, it involves identifying particular circumstances or a series of conditions related to an organization’s objectives. Once identified, they are assessed and ordered, often in terms of their likelihood, magnitude of impact or response strategy.

By acting proactively and addressing risks and seizing opportunities, an organization is better able to protect, but more importantly, create value for its stakeholders.

Principals of Risk Management

Through implementation of Risk Management, there are a number of guiding principals that, when applied to an organization’s solution, should bring about meaningful change. For example, the International Organization for Standardization has identified the following 10 principals as being of particular importance for any risk management program:

Risk Management should:
• create intrinsic value for the organization.
• be an integral part of organizational processes & decision making.
• explicitly address uncertainty.
• be systematic and structured.
• be based on the best available information.
• be tailored.
• take into account human factors.
• be transparent and inclusive.
• be dynamic, iterative and responsive to change.
• be capable of continual improvement and enhancement.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What is an Occupational Health Software solution?

Before you can understand the importance of a solution, you first have to fully understand the scope of Occupational Health and safety (OHS) itself. OH&S issues are actually part of a larger set of issues called Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) issues; they are all interrelated. Whether a company chooses to look at the big picture or focus on managing a smaller sub-set of EHS is determined by the scope of the issues facing the organization.

The goal of occupational health and safety software is to maintain and enhance health, improve safety, and increase productivity by compiling data and finding any meaningful relationships that may exist within the data. This is not only beneficial for the employee, as the compliance benefits for any given organization are undeniable. By remaining compliant an organization is better able to mitigate the risks of workers compensation losses and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) fines. In uncertain economic times, every dollar is critical.

While there are a number of firms who provide Occupational Health software solutions, none are as complete or functional as DataPipe EHS Software - when considering flexibility and return on investment. DataPipe is a modular solution that will allow your organization to piece together a program that meets your unique specifications, at a reasonable cost.

Knowing and understanding the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) laws will help you avoid the unnecessary costs and damage to your business caused by workplace injury and illness. NIOSH and other websites are a good source of this information.