Why do you think it is essential to conduct a risk assessment in your workplace?
Every year, millions of American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. In 2017, assaults resulted in 18,400 injuries and 458 fatalities, according to Injury Facts.
Continue reading below to learn the importance and development process of a practical risk assessment.
RISK ASSESSMENT: WHAT IS IT?
Risk assessment is a process or method of identifying, analyzing, and evaluating hazards and risk factors that have the potential to cause harm. Part of the evaluation includes determining appropriate options to eliminate or control the risk, depending on the problem at hand.
According to the American Society of Safety Professionals, there are three core elements to an effective risk assessment: identification, analysis and evaluation.
Questions to consider if a risk assessment is needed:
- Are there processes in place that detail how employees should notify security or supervision of a potential problem?
- Do you have procedures set in place for documenting and following up with said potential problems?
- What do those procedures look like?
- Is there a meeting with the Human Resources department?
- Does HR bring in employees and question them?
- Does law enforcement ever need to get involved?
During a risk assessment, the evaluation should emphasize vulnerabilities that would make an asset more susceptible to damage from a hazard. Weaknesses include deficiencies in building construction, process systems, security, protection systems and loss prevention programs. They contribute to the severity of damage when an incident occurs.
There are many “assets” at risk from hazards, especially injuries to people. It is vital to establish a plan while ensuring the program is regularly updated.
Additional assets could also be at risk, such as buildings, information technology, utility systems, machinery, raw materials, and finished goods.
A proper risk assessment generates awareness, identifies risks (and who may be at risk), re-evaluates current safety measures, prioritizes control measures, and prevents injuries.
We want you to maintain a healthy and safe work environment to minimize and remove as many risks as possible.
RISK MANAGEMENT, THREAT ANALYSIS AND EMERGENCY ACTION PLANS WITH SAFERSITE
A competent, well-experienced team should complete assessments to assist with plan development.
At SaferSite, we offer risk management services that include in-house security processes.
Risk management includes the development of security processes, evacuation plans, architectural planning and a review of current policies/procedures by legal professionals to evaluate liabilities and vulnerabilities.
A member of our team will come to your property and walk you through the building giving a bird’s eye view of your security features and their effectiveness; including door locks, passwords, key cards, pathways of escape and security staff.
After this assessment, our team will offer verbal recommendations or a written report documenting weak spots and possible options for improvement. Communication is critical during risk management to ensure participants and those conducting the assessment are on the same page regarding the threat analysis process.
Developing a Threat Analysis
A threat analysis looks at the physical security of a facility as a whole. Consider topics such as accessibility for a person off the street to access your facility, and how far they could potentially get before being stopped.
Risk assessment and threat analysis helps outline security updates, and prepare employees for appropriate response in the event of an active threat situation.
We believe there are five steps to creating a threat analysis:
- Form a core planning team. You should form a team made up of essential employees within the company, depending on how large or small your business is. If your company has more than one department, employees who have emergency response training or multiple locations, the core planning team should be comprised of those individuals.
- Identify and assess threats and hazards. The team should develop a running list and identify risks and dangers to the business. Assessments can involve safety, exterior/interior building access, visibility and vehicle access.
- Develop and analyze a course of action. The team should assess each threat identified. Consider what steps should be taken, who in the group is responsible for what, when and where specific actions take place, what resources the team needs to carry out operations, etc.
- Review the course of action. Analyze the plan so that any perceived threats can and will be accomplished.
- Exercise the course of action. Each member of the planning team should return to their departments and run through the plan with each employee. After all departments run through the course of the action plan, the entire company should exercise this plan together.
Developing an Emergency Action Plan
Are you ready to build your emergency action plan (EAP)? An EAP is a written document required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The goal of an EAP is to facilitate actions during unexpected workplace emergencies. A well-developed plan in place and educated employees will significantly reduce injuries during an emergency. Without a plan, the employer risks losing valuable assets and unorganized emergency responses that can further cause damage and injury.
We believe an effective EAP should include:
- An evacuation policy and procedure
- Emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans and safe areas
- Contact information and responsibilities of individuals who should be contacted under the EAP
- Information regarding local hospitals, such as name, phone number, and distance from your location
- An emergency notification system to alert individuals at remote areas within the premises
The combination of an EAP and training exercises provides the most effective step in the right direction of safety and preparedness in the case of a workplace emergency.
Training exercises can involve recognizing the sound of gunshots, quick and appropriate reactions when gunshots are heard, calling 911, reacting appropriately when law enforcement arrives, and adapting a survival mindset during times of crisis.
CONTACT US FOR YOUR RISK ASSESSMENT TODAY
If your facility does not have in-house security processes set up, our team can devise a plan of action.
Nick DeMedici is our executive director, and a former active shooter instructor for the WestVirginia State Police.
Jared Edgreen is a former Secret Service Agent. Both of these experts can help your business assess any threats against your business and create an in-depth and concise course of action.
Interested in learning more? Contact us below.