Why Is A Risk Management Consultant Necessary?

It is famously said �Safety is a cheap and effective insurance policy.� Assessing the safety of your property can often proves to be the difference between life and death. Hiring the service of a professional Risk Management Consultant is the ideal solution for you. A professional risk management consultant specializes in assisting you in the prevention and control of risks associated with fire, air quality and water in your residential or commercial property.

Fire Risk Management

The UK Government has made fire risk assessments mandatory for any commercial or residential complex. This law has been framed keeping in mind the safety and well being of the people. According to the law the employers have to ensure the safety and security of the employees and regularly conduct the Fire Risk Assessment. The local fire authorities should cross check this assessment regularly. Following are the major areas to focus on in Fire Risk Assessment for your business.

Source of the fire – Accidents can take place anytime and anywhere. But a few assessments can minimize damage and save valuable lives. In a commercial or residential complex you should identify the possible sources of fire. Avoid keeping combustible products near such sources. Electrical circuits should be checked from time to time.

Take precautions – After identifying the possible sources of fire risks, these should be removed or necessary steps should be taken to avoid any accident. It is also necessary to review all the safety precautions from time to time to check their functionality.

Evacuation process � A well managed evacuation system can save lives and should be there in any office or residential complex so that during such hazard people can be rescued or evacuated without making the process a mess. As people tend to panic it is necessary to keep a systematic evacuation method so that situations can be handled in an organized manner. Attention should be paid on those people who will not be able to rescue themselves like children and aged people.

Fire Risk Assessment consultants bring in their expertise to handle fire accidents. They install fire detection systems like flame or smoke detection systems, manual call points, evacuation systems and other important things. They cannot guarantee against an outbreak of fire but can definitely save more lives and property.

Water Risk Management

Water is one of the most popular carriers of germs. Legionnaires’ disease is one of the most common disease caused by Legionella. The Water Risk Management thus becomes very important tool in having a hygenic commercial and residential complex.

Water Treatment � It is the first major step in fighting waterborne diseases. It involves installation of proportional chlorine dioxide dosing systems, hypochlorite dosing, ionization units. Cooling towers and evaporative condensers are also used for water treatment.

Legionella Management � Exposure to Legionella bacteria can prove to be costly. To prevent this temperature of the sentinel outlets should be monitored monthly. Shower head should be de-scaled regularly.

Tank Cleaning � Germs thrive on dirty tanks and thus it is important to clean the tanks regularly and seek the service of water risk management consultants. Over storage of water in the tanks should be avoided and they should be properly balanced. Silt and scale should be cleaned from time to time and tank lids should fit properly.

New Water System � The British Standard BS6700 which deals with flushing and disinfection of water services should be implemented. It also deals in disinfection procedure and other safety requirements.
Remedial Plumbing � Plumbing should be done only by professionals and should be carried out in accordance with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999.

Air Risk Management

Air Risk Management is one of the most vital ones as contaminated air can prove to be more fatal than even water. Inspection, maintenance and cleaning of air conditioning and extraction ductwork are essential to ensure a safe and healthy atmosphere. Poor air management in any commercial or residential property can also lead to major fires. Some of the things that an air risk management consultant takes care of are:

Cleaning air ducts � Most modern residential and commercial buildings have air ducts and thus it is important to keep these air ducts clean regularly.

Compressed air removal � Many modern appliances need compressed air for their functioning. However they should be cleaned only by professionals to avoid leakage.

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The Principles Of Risk Management

Every project manager and business leader needs to be aware of the practices and principles of effective risk management. Understanding how to identify and treat risks to an organisation, a programme or a project can save unnecessary difficulties later on, and will prepare managers and team members for any unavoidable incidences or issues.

The OGC M_o_R (Management of Risk) framework for risk management identifies twelve risk management principles, which are intended not … to be prescriptive but [to] provide supportive guidance to enable organisations to develop their own policies, processes, strategies and plan.

Organisational context
A fundamental principle of all generic management methods, including PRINCE2 and MSP as well as M_o_R, is that all organisations are different. Project managers, programme managers and risk managers need to consider the specific context of the organisation in order to ensure thorough identification of risks and appropriate risk treatment procedures.

The term organisational context’ encompasses the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental backdrop of an organisation.

Stakeholder involvement
It is easy for a management team to become internalised and forget that stakeholders are also key participants in everyday business procedures, short-term projects and business-wide change programmes.

Understanding the roles of individual stakeholders and managing stakeholder involvement is crucial to successful risk management. Stakeholders should, as far as is appropriate, be made aware of risks to a project or programme. Within the context of risk management and stakeholder involvement, appropriate concerns: the identity and role of the stakeholder, the level of influence that the stakeholder has over and outside of the organisation, the level of investment that the stakeholder has in the organisation, and the type, probability and potential impact of the risk.

Organisational objectives
Risks exist only in relation to the activities and objectives of an organisation. Rain is a negative risk for a picnic, a positive risk for drought-ridden farmland and a non-risk for the occupants of a submarine.

It is imperative that the individual responsible for risk management (whether that is the business leader, the project/programme manager or a specialist risk manager) understands the objectives of the organisation, in order to ensure a tailored approach to risk management.

M_o_R approach
The processes, policies, strategies and plans within the M_o_R framework provide generic guidelines and templates for risk management within a particular organisation. These guidelines are based on the experience and research of professional risk managers from a wide range of organisations and management backgrounds. Following risk management best practices ensures that individuals involved in managing the risks associated with an organisation’s activity are able to learn from the mistakes, experiments and lessons of others.

Reporting
Accurately and clearly representing data, and the transmission of this data to the appropriate staff members, managers and stakeholders, is crucial to successful risk management. The M_o_R methodology provides standard templates and tested structures for managing the frequency, content and participants of risk communication.

Roles and responsibilities
Fundamental to risk management best practice is the clear definition of risk management roles and responsibilities. Individual functions and accountability must be transparent, both within and outside an organisation. This is important both in terms of organisational governance, and to ensure that all the necessary responsibilities are covered by appropriate individuals.

Support structure
A risk management support structure is the provision within an organisation of standardised guidelines, information, training and funding for individuals managing risks that may arise in any specific area or project.

This can include a centralised risk management team, a standard risk management approach and best-practice guidelines for reporting and reviewing organisational risks.

Early warning indicators
Risk identification is an essential first step for removing or alleviating risks. In some cases, however, it is not possible to remove risks in advance. Early warning indicators are pre-defined and quantified triggers that alert individuals responsible for risk management that an identified risk is imminent. This enables the most thorough and prepared approach to handling the situation.

Review cycle
Related to the need for early warning indicators is the review cycle. This establishes the regular review of identified risks and ensures that risk managers remain sensitive to new risks, and to the effectiveness of current risk management policies.

Overcoming barriers to M_o_R
Any successful risk management strategy requires thoughtful consideration of possible barriers to implementation. Common issues include:
established risk management roles, responsibilities, accountabilities and ownership
an appropriate budget for embedding a risk management approach and carrying out risk management activities
adequate and accessible risk management training, tools and techniques
risk management orientation, induction and training processes
regular assessment of M_o_R approach (including all of the above issues)

Supportive culture
Risk management underpins many different areas and aspects of an organisation’s activity. A supportive risk management culture is essential for ensuring that everybody with risk management responsibilities feels confident raising, discussing and managing risks. A supportive risk management culture will also include evaluation and reward of risk management competencies for the appropriate individuals.

Continual improvement
In an evolving organisation, nothing stands still. An effective risk management policy includes the capacity for re-evaluation and improvement. At a practical level, this will require the nomination of an individual or a group of individuals to the responsibility of ensuring that risk management policies and procedures are up-to-date, as well as the establishment of regular review cycles of the organisation’s risk management approach.

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The Specifics Of Project Risk Management

Risk management, as the term implies, focuses on managing the risk. While the approach deals with all kinds and levels of risk, specific attention is logically devoted towards management and mitigation of risk arising from uncertainty embedded in the project. This is accomplished via a host of established strategies, deployed in a sequential manner. Risk management is an overall term, which is often sub-divided by various organisations and departments to ensure respective suitability. Examples could be a financial risk or say a legal risk. However, the term has a wider perspective and while it is not practical to cover it all here, this article follows a controlled approach and thus highlights upon the nitty-gritty of project risk management.

The Process of Project Risk Management

Risk management and thus project risk management is a comprehensive process aimed at risk identification, planning stages post risk identification, defining the essential activities to be undertaken, and therefore lessening of the recognised risks. While relating particularly to the project risk management perspective, activities begin by planning the risk aspect in relevance to the project under consideration. The plan is comprehensively defined to include even the most basic of tasks, essential for project completion. The idea is to plan risk management for the project. The next stage focuses on project risk identification.

Risk identification is a task responsible for recognising the potential risks and naming them. A risk manager could be appointed at this stage, who would be responsible for identification, input compilation and appropriate documentation for further stages. While identifying the project risks, risks can be divided into two categories: generic risks, which are almost universally applicable; other risks, which are the specific project risks. The other crucial tasks, which ought to be conferred due attention at this stage, relate to narrowing down to the precise cause of identified risks, and working out the possible impact the defined risks would pose.

What follows in the process of project risk management is the requirement to quantify the risks and the associated impact. Tools like probability, sampling and other statistical methodologies can be deployed to get precise results. Risks with these techniques can be classified in various categories, for example: impact, those requiring immediate attention, unavoidable, etc. The course to follow would vary with the categorisation.

Once the risks have been identified and quantified, it is now about working out the response. Project risk management aims at deriving reasonable solutions, which could be reworking the subtasks confronted with risk and thus avoiding the risk or perhaps eliminating the risk cause. Accepting and thus providing scope for the risk is also an option.

Controlling Risk

A proactive approach would be to control the risk element. This is enabled by closely understanding the requirements of the project. If the requirements are well understood, chances of incorrect objective statement and related threats can be suitably controlled. To ensure specific understanding it is essential to make room for the customer’s requirements as well. The requirements of the project ought to be quantifiable and realistically defined. Also they must be in line with the company’s overall purpose of existence. And then of course, the most important aspect is to be ready with an alternate course in case of severe threats.

Conclusion

Risk management and therefore project risk management is a continuous process, which begins with the project and continues throughout. It takes a careful examination of understanding whether there has been enough precaution or if more needs to be done to prevent harm occurring. All companies should have a project risk management program in place to prepare them for all eventualities.

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