Monthly Office Checks Your Business Should Run

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Office Checks|Monthly Office Checks Your Business Should RunWhen it comes to creating a safe and positive working environment, you’re always going to need to stay ahead of the curve. You need to be able to anticipate potential hazards within your workspace, and eliminate them wherever possible to keep your team producing the great work they do day in and day out.

But how can you be sure the office is a good place to be? Well, as long as you’re running monthly checks to ensure health and safety is top priority, you’ll be well on your way to crafting an unproblematic workplace. Here are the kind of checks you should be running.

Fire Safety

Fires are the most common hazard in the modern workplace, next to tripping and falling. And in a commercial setting, a fire can happen in a dozen different places at once! From equipment overheating, to someone taking a smoke break in the wrong place, to an electrical fire in the server room, you’ve got your work cut out for you checking here.

You’re going to want to keep multiple fire extinguishers on site at all times, as well as check them as regularly as you perform maintenance on office equipment. Similarly, make sure all potential fuel sources (including waste paper baskets!) are disposed of in a timely and safe manner.

Air Quality

A lot of toxins can leak into the air in a commercial setting; from dust to foreign particles to actual harmful gasses, there are a lot more hazards in the modern workplace than there’s ever been before! And if you’re going to be spending at least 8 hours a day in your office, you owe it to your team’s health to check on the air quality on a monthly basis.

Most of all, keep an eye on your AC or central heating function. A lot can leak through these two systems, and making sure you know the warning signs before a gas accumulates to a hazardous degree is essential. You can read more about keeping your air pure in a workplace setting, but it’s mostly simple care and maintenance; make sure those AC vents have been washed out by a cleaning team!

Mental Health Assurance

You’re also going to want to think about the human element, in terms of health and safety, as most inspection criterias now include mental health and wellbeing as part of the pass rate. And not only that, but if you can’t be sure that your employees even enjoy being in the workplace, how can you ensure they’ll do their best work?

You need to keep work exciting and/or challenging within your office, as well as define the job expectations as clearly as possible. You’ll also want to keep work hours as flexible as possible, and never expect an employee to stay beyond the average 8 hour working period. It’s just good practice this way!

Your office needs checking out; keep health and safety in mind for a much more productive workday.

Do you need a panic alarm? The pros and cons

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Panic Alarm|Do you need a panic alarm? The pros and consPanic Alarms are one of those things that you would rather have and not need than need and not have. They can provide security, assurances and safety for both yourself, your workplace or your home and can trigger immediate help from the local authorities. They are simple to use, often incorporating a button which activates the alarm at a touch. It will immediately contact local authorities and direct them to the location of the alarm. With devices that are compact and easy to use, a panic alarm may be one of the best purchases you make when it comes to your safety.

Wired vs Wireless

The difference between these is pretty self-explanatory. With a wired system, the panic alarm is situated at a fixed point. This is much more common in workplaces where, depending on the job that you do, you stand nearby one at all times. However, a wireless one can be carried around by a person and is much more useful if working alone or for personal use when out travelling. Wireless systems provide convenience for the user but are more susceptible to wear and tear than the standard wired ones that are available.


Panic alarms that are wireless are often small enough to be easily carried and importantly concealed. This means that should you need to use it, the aggressor may be caught unawares by the local authorities when they arrive. This feature is often combined with a silent alarm that so that you don’t give away that you have contacted help. This may keep the situation calm and keep you in a safer position.

Panic alarms are also powered by electricity and their own battery. This applies mostly to the wired systems as they are connected to the mains. They will always have a backup battery so that should a power cut strike you will still be able to use the system. Likewise, a wireless system will usually have two batteries, with one acting as a backup should the other die or malfunction.

Finally, these systems are usually simple to set up, especially the portable wireless systems. This is because the portable systems are used predominantly by children or the elderly. Some are even designed as bracelets that are easily concealed and yet accessible for the user.


It seems hard to point out cons for an alarm system but there are always some. One thing to be careful of is false alarms. This can happen on both types of system. Wireless systems are more likely to malfunction. They usually experience more damage due to their small size and usage. A wired system, on the other hand, relies on a button you push that can hit by accident.

Also, wireless systems always have the fear that they drop out of range or frequency, so this is something that should be taken into consideration

Do you need a Panic Alarm?

Any business will always benefit for some kind of security measures. Personal systems will always come down to personal preference and situations. Weigh up the pros and cons and see if it makes sense for you to purchase one.

3 Safety Measures You Can Implement Now to Protect from RSI

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Safety Measures|3 Safety Measures You Can Implement Now to Protect from RSIAlthough it was first identified in 18th-century industrial workers, Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) was widely reported and became a public safety concern in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the use of computers became more prevalent in offices all over the world because of improvements in the accessibility of operating systems and office applications such as Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office.

To combat RSI, the industry of ergonomics was brought to the forefront as a possible (and subsequently successful) solution to workplace injuries caused by repetition. Although the study of ergonomics is largely psychological, the primary principles can be applied to the physical world i.e. how the human body is affected by the surrounding environment.

The application of ergonomics by companies all over the world has greatly reduced the effects of RSI but the problem persists, and as an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees by treating RSI as you would any other potential hazard.

Ergonomic Safety and Awareness

For the most part, RSI, and the effects of it, can be attributed to poor awareness of the condition on both the part of an employer and the employee. As a prevention method, you could inform your employees of the causes of RSI such as poor posture, not taking breaks from repetitive tasks, and the misuse of certain equipment.

Of course, this would be pointless if you don’t supply your employees with the necessary tools to protect themselves. Ergonomic equipment is widely available and you could supply such things as a fully adjustable chair, monitor or TV stand, and a Bluetooth ergonomic keyboard and mouse. All of these items, and others such as modular desks, have been found to greatly reduce RSI.

Support for RSI Suffering

Should any of your staff suffer from RSI, either from sitting at a PC, standing at a control panel, or even using a smartphone or tablet too often, you should offer support for their condition and accommodate accordingly. Allowing your employees to take regular breaks is the first step in helping with RSI as not taking breaks is one of the leading causes of strain.

Further actions could include psychological support for the injured employees and a legally required risk assessment. RSI can cause serious and debilitating injuries resulting in serious medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and musculoskeletal injuries, any of which you could be liable for should you not cater for the condition that may have been caused by inadequate accommodations in the workplace.

21st Century Technology

While RSI is mostly associated with working at a computer for extended periods, the condition extends to anything that requires prolonged and repeated tasks. Factory line production staff are a good example and QA operatives may have to lift heavy items to inspect them. Furthermore, any other role associated with lifting products, such as deliveries, puts employees at risk of developing RSI.

Advanced technologies that were once science fiction are slowly being incorporated into many industries. Mechanical exoskeletons such as Ironhand use servos and motors inside a shoulder-braced robotic device in order to assist with the lifting of heavy items. In short, the device fits like a glove and does the heavy lifting rather than the muscles of the hand and arm, therefore greatly reducing any strain that might otherwise be placed on them.

7 Strategies for Reducing Operational Management Risk

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Operational Management|7 Strategies for Reducing Operational Management RiskDeploying an operational risk management program that does the intended job remains a challenge for many businesses today. The industrial sector and others have witnessed rapid changes that significantly altered the way businesses operate. Global commerce continues to expand and supply chains are becoming more complex. Furthermore, regulations influence every interaction, and social media provides another means for regulators and other government entities to scrutinize the businesses.

Another problem companies face today involves the funding of the operational risk management strategy consistently. Verdantix, an independent consulting firm, recently conducted a study on behalf of DuPont Sustainable Solutions. This study found that 65 percent of businesses lacked the funds for this purpose, according to the respondents. They stated it remained a barrier they were finding difficult to overcome.

This study involved 75 senior leaders spread across eight different industries and ten countries. Verdantix asked them about risk management to learn more about ORM strategies within their organization and their perception of these strategies. These interviews led to DuPont Sustainable Solutions recommending the following seven steps for anyone looking to implement an operational risk management program successfully.

Start at the Top

The leaders at the top of the organization must be fully behind the operational risk management program for it to be effective. Approximately 80 percent of businesses in the survey stated the corporate level remains accountable for risk management. The leaders need to understand the internal operational risks, as this allows them to make better decisions and direct employees to take informed risks. They need to discuss what happens when there is a breakdown in regular operational processes, systems, and people. The risks can be controlled and avoided when team members assume responsibility for identifying the risk before evaluating and addressing them. The top five operational risks are collaboration, cultural, customer, people, and technology risks.

Risk Accountability at All Levels

However, leaders serve as only part of the equation. They need to train all employees to make risk-based thinking part of everyday operations. These individuals must be held accountable when something goes wrong in the area they remain responsible for. In the survey, 38 percent of businesses reported they didn’t hold shop floor employees accountable in this area. Any person within an organization can make a risk decision. Nevertheless, this task should be reserved for the person with the authority to minimize or eliminate the identified risk before implementing any necessary controls. This is currently how the Federal Aviation Administration handles it and other businesses have followed suit.

Timely Risk Assessments

Companies must comply with new regulations as they arise, which helps to explain why risk management must always remain a top priority. However, each company must determine how often they need to conduct an audit based on their unique characteristics and operational footprint. Of the firms surveyed, 92 percent stated they carry out this assessment at least once every year. They do so to ensure their risk profile remains current and they incorporate necessary changes in a timely manner. However, this serves as only part of the process.

Every company needs to determine risk triggers. For instance, an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico needs to be battened down when a hurricane is forecast to hit the area. They know this trigger increases the risk of damage to the rig and take steps to prevent this damage. Each company needs to determine the root cause of each risk and protect against the risk event in every way possible.

Quantifying and Prioritizing Risks

When optimizing the operational risk management program, companies must quantify each risk in terms of its probability and severity. Once this information has been gathered, they calculate the benefits and costs associated with mitigating each risk to determine if it is more costly to mitigate than to allow it to remain. These calculations allow the organization to target its efforts effectively.

Select Metrics and Key Performance Indicators

To successfully implement an operational risk management program, the company must know which metrics and key performance indicators are needed to monitor and assess performance accurately. This ensures the company is putting its efforts and resources where they are needed most. Fortunately, many companies recognize they need to make this a priority and are turning to outside sources for help in determining which metrics and key performance indicators are best for their organization.

Many business owners associate key performance indicators and metrics with general business management, accounting, and finance. However, they remain necessary in every organization, as they help with achieving specific targets. The company might identify targets related to exposure reduction, minimization, or mitigation. For instance, a business may monitor the number of transactions that have a fault or error and the number of cumulative hours the IT system is down. It all depends on the business.

Implement Controls

When a business chooses to implement control measures to mitigate risks actively, particularly those that have been determined to be a priority, they must use controls that are cost effective, consistent, and well-documented. Although 98 percent of respondents in the survey stated they have measures in place, only a quarter of the businesses believed the measures to be cost effective. This demonstrates the need for companies to look for better solutions when it comes to managing and controlling risks they have identified.


Companies must recognize operational risk management needs to be an ongoing process. Furthermore, regular communications on ORM performance serve as a requirement when it comes to effectively ensuring employees remain engaged in this area. Tailor these communications to different levels and functions across the organization, as different areas and departments have distinct priorities and areas they focus on. There is no need to share a communication meant for one department with everyone in the organization, as excessive communications lead to people tuning out, particularly when the majority of the communications don’t pertain to them. Avoid this by sharing messages with certain audiences rather than across the board.
Operational risk management differentiates competitors. Companies that make this a priority find their product performance improves, brand recognition increases, and financial results are easy to sustain. If you have yet to make this a priority in your company, do so today. You cannot afford to miss out simply because you haven’t focused on ORM enough. This needs to change today so you can stand out from competitors and increase your market share.

How Can You Protect Your Business From Any Kind Of Harm?

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Protect your Business|How Can You Protect Your Business From Any Kind Of Harm?When you own a business, the most important thing is always going to be that you protect it from getting hurt in any way. There are a number of things that you can do in order to protect your business, but you have got to make sure that you are taking all of the possible precautions as joined together, that’s when they are at their strongest. If you don’t know how to protect your business, then it’s a good thing you have come across this article as this is exactly what we are going to be discussing. Keep reading down below if you would like to find out more about this topic.


The first thing that you are going to need is insurance. When things go south, you always need to know that your business is backed up, and if it’s not, that’s when you’re going to be in a world of trouble. The thing with business insurance is that there are so many different types it can become quite hard to navigate which policies your business needs. As such, we highly recommend that you speak to a broker and see what they have to say. These professionals will ensure that your business has all the cover it needs, without going overboard and having cover that you will never use.

Don’t forget that your business is like your baby, and like your baby, you would rather pay for the best quality care. We feel like this is important to state because some businesses think that insurance is not important. We’re sure that’s not what you would be saying if you were facing days of downtime, losing plenty of potential profit.


Another thing that you should do is have all of your employee’s sign non-disclosure agreements. This way, they are not allowed to talk about anything pertaining to your company or the business that you conduct to anyone who doesn’t work at the business. This saves you from having any secrets of confidential information shared among your competitors. If one of your employees does slip and decide to spill the information, then you can take them to court and make sure that they answer for this.

Some people tend to think that if you ask your employees to sign one of these documents that it means you have something to hide, but it doesn’t. You simply want to protect your business from those who wish to exploit or hurt it which is exactly what you should be doing.


It’s also important that you have CCTV if you have business premises. You don’t want people to just be able to walk in and do whatever they want, go wherever they want, and take whatever they want. This is a recipe for disaster, so we recommend that you look into the best CCTV systems on the market, and invest in one of them sooner rather than later. It’s not the waste of money that many people think it is, for the reason alone it is worth it.

The best thing about CCTV is that it acts as a deterrent for anyone who is looking to break into your business. Most people don’t want to risk getting caught as what they are looking for is not that important to them, at least not enough to risk going to jail for it. Hire an expert company to ensure that everything is fitted properly as this is the best way to be sure that you are getting full coverage.

Online Security

Next, you should think about taking the right steps with your online security. It’s fair to say that issues online have become more common for companies in recent years. One of the ways that you can handle this is by taking significant steps to boost your online business security model. This can be as simple as investing in the right cyber-security software. It’s worth noting that anti-virus software is often enough to put a roadblock in front of most hack attempts. If you are worried about issues here, then it could be worth thinking about investing in IT support as well. With an IT support solution, you will have experts on hand who are going to check for any issues that could be occurring behind the scenes.

Of course, if you are running a larger business, then the best way to handle issues with security is to make sure that you are investing in training. Often, an employee will be the reason your online security falls short because they are hit by a phishing scam. If you teach them the danger, they can recognize the signs that they are being targeted.

Get Your Affairs In Order

The final thing that you should do is get your affairs in order. If something goes wrong, then you want to know that the business is taken care of as much as possible, as well as your employees yourself where possible. For example, the same way that you would sort wills, trusts, and estates in your personal life, you should be doing something extremely similar with your business.

Speak to a lawyer and make sure that everything is in order, signed, and taken care of. You want to be sure that you are not leaving your business in the lurch if something goes wrong that can’t be sorted through insurance or any other means. At the very least, you need to be sure that the people who work for you are taken care of.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you can do to protect your business from any kind of harm. It’s essential that you are always taking things with your business as seriously as possible, and taking precautions to ensure that it is safe is one of the most important. The last thing that you are going to want is someone exploiting your business, so make sure that you take these precautions to save yourself the future hassle!