Establishing and promoting a culture of risk management can have a significant impact at your business. Emphasis on workplace safety and loss prevention — from senior management to front line employees — can help businesses run more efficiently and avoid errors that could negatively impact your bottom line.
It’s important to understand that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to risk management culture. Whatever your specific needs are, remember that a solid foundation is key. Basic regulatory requirements need to be examined first, then you can delve into your business’s deeper needs.
It Starts at the Top
A risk management culture is more than just documented policies on a piece of paper. Management should be committed to upholding safety and risk mitigation across the board, and that commitment should have a ripple effect on everyone — from the most senior veteran employee to the newest hire. You can lead by example, by:
- Appointing a safety director or designated risk manager.
- Forming a safety committee.
- Conducting a workplace analysis focusing on housekeeping, operations, processes, machinery, and any other aspects needed for employees to perform activities at work.
- Establishing plans to help control unexpected situations.
- Adhering to safety guidelines and holding employees accountable for unsafe work habits or conditions.
- Documenting and recording employee training.
- Monitoring results and verifying employees’ understanding of workplace policies and procedures.
- Introducing new employees to your risk management culture and company expectations.
- Encouraging open communication.
Take Control and Enforce Safety Policies
With the knowledge that many claims are preventable, it’s important to create and enforce policies related to safety, conduct, and hiring. Designating a risk manager to address these critical practices is one way to take the reins.
Consider the risks of not enforcing a risk management plan. It may be tempting to disregard certain infractions with the hope that an incident won’t occur, but that could lead to serious repercussions down the road. A single individual failing to follow your safety practices could be costly, have long-lasting effects, and could lead to low morale among employees who must deal with the consequences.
Consider the Financial Impact
Hidden claims expenses can quickly add up. Additionally, losses can impact your workers compensation experience modification rate, which may lead to higher insurance costs. Although fully committing to a risk management culture requires an investment, potentially including money, time, or additional personnel into your safety program, this is a case where you may be better off safe than sorry.
Knowing that your business is well-equipped with the right risk management culture solutions can allow you to address emerging challenges and various market conditions, all while maintaining a positive, productive work environment.
By: Equipment Dealer Specialist Jerry Leemkuil, Federated Mutual® Insurance Company
Federated Insurance® offers member clients the opportunity to access mySHIELD®, a personalized, online destination for risk management resources. Continue fostering a risk management culture at your business — both for the safety of your employees, and the well-being of your business as a whole. For more information and resources, reach out to your local marketing representative today.