A risk assessment is an integral component of risk mitigation, and it is an essential step in the risk management planning process. Risk management planning involves identifying, assessing, and controlling risks that a business may face. Conducting these steps before a crisis occurs is vital. Despite the importance of a risk assessment, many businesses struggle to adequately conduct an assessment, and sometimes fail to do one at all. So, why is a risk assessment a crucial part of risk management, and what might your business be missing? Here are 5 considerations that are common aberrations during the risk assessment process: 

 

1. Conducting a risk assessment simply to ‘tick a box’ 

Many businesses will conduct an assessment purely to make sure that regulatory requirements are met. While exposing your business to some risk management planning is better than none, conducting a rushed, poor-quality risk assessment can severely limit its applicability when risks do eventuate.  

While some risks may seem highly unlikely or just simply not worth assessing, the consequences of neglecting and forgetting can be dire. The Covid-19 pandemic is a golden example of how even the most unlikely of scenarios are still possibilities, and can turn your business – and the world – upside down. Everything from IT disruptions, pandemics, staff shortages, supply chain issues, freak weather events, medical emergencies and everything in between are always potential problems, and assessing such risks and putting practical solutions in place before a crisis strikes can save your business from limbo. 

 

2. Ignoring legal requirements 

Whether intentionally or accidentally, ignoring regulatory requirements can be detrimental to your business’ longevity. Depending on your industry, some pieces of legislation can require your business to conduct risk assessments or have certain safety management plans in place. Injuries and crises that put your business into the spotlight for the wrong reason can highlight to the world how your business had failed to comply with such legal requirements, which can result in a host of legal trouble. Assessing all potential legislation that may apply to your business ensures that not only are you protecting your business, but protecting the personnel who will benefit the most from having required safety plans enacted. 

 

3. Not understanding that a risk assessment is an ongoing process 

Conducting your first risk assessment is a great step, but the train to safety doesn’t stop there. An outdated risk assessment can prove to be as useful as having no assessment at all, and can hinder the development of risk management plans. The world is constantly changing, and your business and the risks it may face are no stranger to change. New legislation is always being developed and put into force, bringing with it new legal requirements your business may have to follow. New equipment and machinery can pose new threats to personnel safety. Selling new products and services means new processes, new customers and new risks. The handling of previous events and emergencies can also highlight flaws in existing assessments and plans, and updating a risk management plan accordingly is likely to reduce the likelihood of your business facing similar risks in the future. 

 

4. Not involving employees in the process 

If anyone in your business knows what kind of risks are possible, it is the staff who are involved in daily operations and can see where things often go wrong. Involving staff in the process not only ensures that all perspectives are being considered during the assessment, but it also ensures that employees are aware of other risks they may not have seen before, and makes sure that they know the correct procedures to handle such risks. Providing training to staff to make sure they are up to date with any recent risk assessments also ensures they won’t be in the dark if a crisis hits. 

 

5 Forgetting to assess risks at all 

No business is immune to risk. But assessing the possible risks that your business may face, and using this analysis to put together management plans can protect you from the damaging impacts that some unmitigated risks can cause.  

If your business is in need of risk mitigation and assessment specialists, contact our knowledgeable team at Resilient Services today, and make your business stronger, smarter and more secure.