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How HR Leaders Can Implement Risk Management Training And Awareness

Posted by Insightlink on 02/01/23

Navigating the jungle of HR can be a daunting responsibility. Especially when there are so many types of risks and potential liabilities to be aware of. 

While HR’s main duties in any organization should be to nurture a positive work environment and prevent potential stress, it is also responsible for maintaining compliance within the organization to avoid troubles with the law.
Part of being compliant includes anticipating possible risk factors and setting up systems in place to prevent those risks from manifesting into problems. By the same token, HR representatives need to implement programs in their organization to educate and inform everyone they work with about the risks that they’re exposed to.
risk management meeting
Types of Risks
Let’s run through the general themes in risk management that HR leaders need to stay aware of:
  • Physical risks: These relate to physical harm or injury to persons within the organization. It can encompass the potential for fires, flooding, noxious fumes, and exposure to harmful elements — both in and out of the control of the users in the work environment.
  • Personnel risks: Personnel risks most often pertain to willful acts or negligence on the part of people in the workplace. They can range from accidental injuries to themselves, deliberate injury to others, embezzlement of company funds, consumption of illegal drugs or alcohol, theft, and even sickness brought into the workplace knowingly or unknowingly.
  • Technology risks: These risks can vary with each company based on the density of technology used within the company. More and more organizations are adapting their processes to utilize technology, which can invite a whole host of problems if not secured properly. Emails and digital data can be compromised through hacking and phishing scams if the right cybersecurity measures and training aren’t put into place. Seemingly harmless things like power outages or Wi-Fi outages can stall productivity, costing large sums of money in wasted time. Knowing everything that possibly could go wrong with each technology aid is the first step in devising plans to react when something inevitably goes wrong. 
  • Locational risks: Like physical risks, location risks focus on property damage, like flooding, fires, and wind damage prevalent in the area surrounding the physical location of the organization. Natural disasters, future zoning laws, restrictions, and purchasing patterns of neighboring establishments can negatively impact your organization. Make sure to stay up to date with local town or city laws and how they might affect your organization’s permissions to conduct the work where you’re located.
The risks that face each organization will always be different, which is why HR staff should take care to recognize what types of risks are most likely to create problems and then address them.
Insure Everything
Unfortunately, there’s no universal insurance that covers everything, but many of the risks that we’ve covered are insurable. It’s important to consider a safety net for areas of risk that stand out the most.
In worst-case scenarios, it’s always best to have insurance in the event of an issue. Most organizations will have general liability insurance, but that is rarely enough to cover all financial burdens in most specific situations. Take the effort to identify which risks are most prominent in your workplace and learn what possible insurance options are available to you.
Safety Measures to Put in Place
HR professionals should administer training sessions to bring workers up to speed on how they should conduct themselves to minimize risks, limit exposure to harmful situations, and prevent negligence.
While some employees might begrudgingly receive this kind of training, you can't assume each person’s awareness of certain risks is equal. That’s why collective sessions to inform them about safety measures and precautions are important. After all, it’s not only HR that’s responsible for limiting risk but every person in the company’s obligation as well.
There are also other measures that HR leaders can put in place to mitigate risk as well, such as the following:
  • Posting proper safety labels and signage at various points of interest in the building or buildings is a crucial measure in maintaining safety and hygiene for workers.
  • Ensuring cleanliness protocols and clean workspaces will help prevent unnecessary tripping and injury.
  • Having a fire marshal inspect the work environment can help pinpoint potential fire hazards and ensure that fire prevention signage and fixtures are up to date.
The more you can prevent risk, the less often you’ll have to respond to the situations, which will ultimately save time, money, and stress in the long run.
For Compliance and Safety
Remember that the main goals of risk assessment and awareness training are to maintain compliance and ensure a positive work environment. Part of the narrative can be that HR is looking out for the well-being of workers, which is absolutely the truth.
It all starts by identifying fragile points in the organization and acting upon them before they manifest into something worse. If you can strike the balance of sympathy for your personnel’s well-being and enforcement of code and laws, you should be set up to have a sound work environment ready to face anything! 


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