When was the last time you were walking down a sidewalk, pushing a shopping cart through a parking lot or walking in a store and noticed a hazard?

Maybe you noticed a hazard during a sporting event, at your favorite restaurant or even at your place of employment.

One of the main reasons an injury, accident or other loss occurs is because of a failure to identify or recognize hazards that are present, or those hazards that could have been anticipated. One of the most important elements of an effective risk management program is developing an ongoing process to identify and evaluate hazards. Conducting periodic risk assessments (i.e., self-inspections) is a method to evaluate potential hazards so corrective action can be taken to prevent a loss and manage risk.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are often conducted by loss control professionals from insurance companies during their visits as the first step in the loss control process to identify current and potential hazards. Employers and businesses should also be conducting their own risk assessments on a routine basis using a checklist or other guide.

  1. Identify current and potential hazards that could cause a loss.
  2. Determine the root cause of the hazards.
  3. Implement corrective action to address the hazards identified.
  4. Monitor and re-evaluate the corrective action taken to verify it continues to be effective.

More to Consider

More things to consider during your risk assessment process include:

  • Encourage employees to report hazards that could cause a loss.
  • Develop a method for visitors, contractors, guests and others to report potential hazards.
  • Document your risk assessments so you have a reference for corrective action and to track recurring hazards.
  • Set a schedule for the frequency of risk assessments to occur.
  • The risk assessment process should also include investigating injuries, incidents, and close calls/near misses to determine the underlying hazards and root causes.
  • Include an evaluation of non-routine situations and activities in the risk assessment.
  • Prioritize corrective action for the hazards identified during the risk assessment based on the severity and likelihood a loss will occur.

So, the next time you see a hazard, think about the importance of conducting risk assessments. If you are not conducting your own risk assessments at your place of business, consider that you are likely overlooking many current and potential hazards. Keyser can assist you in implementing a risk assessment process to identify hazards and implement the most effective solutions. Call 877-381-3570 or email info@keyseragencycom.

[SOURCE: Auto-Owners Insurance]