Many of our clients ask us to complete risk assessments of their operations, their physical site and even future projects. As complicated as some risk assessments can be we thought we’d take the time to break them down to their basic components.
Recognize – more commonly stated as Identify the hazards or risks. Before you really can do that, you need to know and understand the difference between what a hazard is and what a risk is. A hazard is “something” with the potential to cause you, your business, your employees, your reputation harm. A risk that “likelihood” of that harm actually happening.
Impact – more commonly known as deciding who is going to be harmed and how. Who’s going to feel it, how is it going to happen? Almost like trying to figure out whether or not it is the butler in the den with the candlestick …for those who appreciate a good game of Clue.
Bump – So you’ve recognized the hazards and risks and you’ve figured out where the impact is going to be. Now what? Now you have to protect it or at least put some form of management or control piece in to either slow it down or stop it completely from happening and affecting you.
Note it – Write it down, digitally record it, take pictures, tell a few people. Do what you need to, to record it. Why…because you want to monitor your success. You want to know that the bump you’ve put in place is working or needs to be re-recognized because the impact may have changed. It’s also due diligence. You can show that you know that there is or was something that raised whatever level of concern, you thought about it, did something about it and continue to watch it.
Recognize it again – As I’ve said many times in the past and continue to…Plan the Work Work the Plan. Once you’ve done the assessment you need to do it again. You need to understand what is working, what has changed, what is new and what are you doing about it.
This article is to serve as a high level awareness tool. Unfortunately it doesn’t remove the complexities of your operation or the complexities of the risk assessment. But boiling it down to it’s barest components allows you to understand the varying phased or steps that are taken during a risk assessment. It’s important to note and understand that each of these components can be expanded and contracted as necessary to have a myriad of steps or components within each of them.
Nevertheless it all falls back to these high level principal components.
Plan the Work. Work the Plan
As many of you know, I entered the commercial UAV/UAS world (better known as drones) several months ago.
The unfortunate thing is, the only media coverage that really is predominant are those incidents that shine some negative light on what can be and is a valuable tool in a variety of disciplines.
This recent incident in West Kelowna B.C., just screams of a UAV pilot that doesn’t appreciate the responsibility, the accountability and the general safety and well being of anyone. Scratch pilot from that previous statement and just add operator. Any reputable UAV pilot knows the restrictions, respects the regulations and in fact is mostly likely a proponent for change. Such as I am. This is an aircraft plain and simple.
So how could this particular situation been different? A UAV/UAS could have been used for pre-evacuation surveillance at the leading edge of the restricted airspace. It could have assisted the various other emergency services on the ground in pre-planning or execution. This task or function could be facilitated either from a commercial entity or that within one of the attending services.
The skies can be friendly, there is room for a UAV/UAS industry to work in conjunction with the already existing commercial flight world and in the assistance of emergency services.
Those individuals conducting stunts like the one highlighted in this article and others I’m sure you can Google, obviously do not adhere to the training, research and for that matter the pre-flight rigor that I put myself through and many others in the industry do as well.
Prior flight day equipment checks, site research, flight plan research, day of flight equipment inspections, site assessment (often including a physical walk about), neighboring property (where applicable) communication, on site communication and training, NOTAMs where needed or required, closest areodrome contact and so on. A long flight, a short flight…safety is always first.
Is there a lot of work that can go into a pre-flight process? Yes. Could all that work be done and no flight takes place? Absolutely. Weather & safety considerations are probably the biggest two obstacles. And of course, pilot mindset. All worth it in the end.
As with all the services I provide, and the advise I give; Plan the Work. Work the Plan.
In the neighborhood for a UAV/UAS Pilot? Do your homework and make sure they have a plan.
Michael White CPP CRM has expanded his services to include UAV’s.
UAVs provide an ideal platform for a range of security, risk mitigation, emergency disaster response and surveillance applications. Services can be modified to your specific requirments.
All equipment is fitted with high definition video cameras with still photography capability, plus thermal infrared imaging systems are available for various applications and situations.
Services and features include:
- Real-time observation – a stable bird’s eye view with the ability to zoom in, take photos and manoeuvre the payload like a 3D pan-tilt-zoom security camera “on demand” with HD video or thermal infrared capability.
- Covert and overt surveillance of critical infrastructure and perimeters to provide protection to staff, resources and assets.
- Suspicious object/package assessment (visually).
- Rapid response to remotely identified security threats.
- Ongoing and routine surveillance according to a pre-determined flight path.
- Aerial archival videography & photography
- Industrial, Commercial & Real Estate aerial inspection
Contact Michael White CPP CRM to understand how UAV Services can assist you identify and mitigate risk.
Michael White CPP CRM has successfully participated and completed a Transport Canada recognized UAV Ground School and has successfully received his Restricted Operators Certificate – Aeronautical qualification.
So where do I put it? What do I do with it? Will it last me long enough? Do I need to get more of it? When do I need to use it? Does it go well with other things?
I’m not talking about maple syrup and whether or not you pour it over your pancakes or waffles directly or just on the side for dipping. Whether or not you put enough on your plate. Do you put it on now or wait for the butter to melt in. And yes, it goes very well with many other things.
I’m talking about your Emergency Response plans. The same questions apply.
Where do you put it? Which department is going to manage the process of creating one? Which individual or team is going to champion it to fruition? Who will maintain it? Who will test it?
What do you do with it? You learn from it. It becomes an integral part in the growth process of your organization.
Will it last? Only as long as you pay attention to it. Or in some instances only as long as you remain exposed to some risks that you may be able to avoid.
Do you need more of it? Depends on what your risk tolerance is, what your risk assessments have told you and whether or not you have the internal resources to manage it properly.
Knowing when to use it is key. Risk assessments and the intimate knowledge of the organization’s risk tolerance is a driver.
Yes, like syrup your emergency response plans go well with other things. Your Business Continuity Plans. Your Fire Safety Plans. Staff training and orientation. Strategic Plans. It can touch and influence or be influenced by many of the hands and fingers of the business.
Plan the Work. Work the Plan.
So another year has passed. So what do we know? Actually, who do we know?
One thing I think we know for certain is that the title of “Newsmaker”, especially newsmaker of the year may not be the title you might be striving for or want bestowed upon you, at least not anymore.
So for fun I searched for the newsmaker of the year 2013 from various media sources to see who these individuals were. Aside from a few obvious poor choices I was surprised to not see these types of people listed below. Unfortunately I couldn’t name them all as this list is quite long and ever growing;
Emergency Management Offices staff – for their tireless and thankless efforts and decisions in getting many communities around the world through some of the worst of the worst this planet can throw at us and some of the worst of the worst mistakes man may have caused.
Citizen Responder – for stepping up and helping because it was the right thing to do. For putting yourself on the line for a complete stranger and potentially giving up everything.
Emergency Service Responders – do I need to explain this one. For standing in harms way to protect us, for patching and repairing us when we’re broken and for some reason going into a burning building when the rest of us are getting out.
Our military service personnel – long list of newsmakers there.
Our Public Works employees battling on the front lines of mother nature so that we can have power, to eat, to stay warm, to watch video clips of them on the news battling the storm.
Emergency Preparedness Planners, Designers, Writers, Responders – those individuals in the private sector striving to come up with the best prepared plans, procedures and sometimes on the fly “Hail Mary pass” executions to make it safe for us to get out when we need to get out.
The security staff protecting millions and millions of dollars in assets daily and nightly while maybe the storm or flooding or fires rage on and you didn’t have to go to work.
My list could go on. These are a portion of a list of the newsmakers of the year in my books. I appreciate that many of those media generated lists are filled with great leaders that have done great things for all of us and my list of suggestions is to not diminish their achievements in anyway as I applaud them and thank them also for their contributions.
The real point of this article is for us to sit back and reflect on what it really should mean to be a newsmaker and although we may never be able to publicly acknowledge each and every individual for their unselfish acts and actions (as many didn’t go into looking for thanks anyways), do we really need to put a bigger spotlight on those that may not exactly deserve it.
Let’s make 2014 a year to thank the real newsmakers.
Plan the Work. Work the Plan.
Let it be resolved that some of you will look back at this past year and know that you’ll be reviewing what worked, what didn’t work, what needs to be re-written or added and some of you won’t. That some of you will have a new risk assessment completed to confirm already identified risks and potentially new ones and that you’ll get quick to composing new procedures, policies and training to hopefully mitigate those newly found risks and unfortunately some of you won’t.
Some of you will have noticed that natural hazards and risks are on the rise. This may not affect all to the extreme but will affect all to some degree.
Yes I agree this time of year we find that many in our own businesses are on holidays spending well deserved time with family and friends. I truly hope you have that opportunity also.
But, to be the black hat thinker that I am (it’s a curse)…risk knows not the difference between night and day, week day or weekend, hot or cold weather and most certainly whether or not you’re on vacation. What is known, to you and to your colleagues is to whether or not you are as best prepared as you can possibly be. You will never be completely ready because that’s an impossible dream…but you can most certainly be as prepared as you possibly can for a list of risks and hazards as long if not longer than my leg (and I’m not that tall). But that’s truly the key…be prepared for as many scenarios as you can think of, re-thinking, re-training and re-planning is a winning formula.
So if you haven’t left for the holiday season yet, maybe you can take a quick moment and compose your new year risk resolution now…won’t take you long, I encourage you to include a colleague, you’d be surprised what can be accomplished in that small conversation of ideas.
Plan the Work. Work the Plan.
So how have I answered that question in the past? I’ve tried the formal route: “I’m a consultant that specializes in Security Management, Risk Management and Emergency Management” Usually followed by the next question of, so what really is all that? Then I of course would dive in to explain each segment of my statement.
So I changed it up. “I save companies time, money, liability, I inconvenience some but hopefully help to save lives” Well that peaked the interest of many. The money and liability statement peaked the interest of the business crowd whilst the saving lives peaked everyone’s interest.
I was at a personal engagement and amongst the various conversations about this and that, that were totally unrelated to anyone’s work, I made a slightly humorous comment about doing one thing so that we can accomplish another and the gentleman said “…and that from a security guy…trying to figure out all the angles…” and then he said this “…it’s like knowing where the puck is going to be” A wow went off in my head.
You see, as a much younger person I was quite heavily into organized sports, especially hockey and I played defence. In fact I played right defence but shot left. Another story for another time. But to be a good hockey player you need to anticipate where the puck is going to be. So either you can intercept it from an opponent or accept a pass from a teammate, or block the shot, or be able to take that winning goal shot.
Much of what I do is trying to figure out what is going to happen, how best to get it done, how people are going to react and what is the best way to get them to do what they need to do. Anticipating where the puck is going is a skill set that I discovered and honed whilst playing hockey. Bobby Orr was one of my childhood idles and in my opinion was one of the greatest hockey players that did just that. That made him a great defenceman.
But I had another recent related experience while at Spanish class. Yes I took a conversation Spanish class in hopes to learn another language a little better than I know it now. Anyways, it was a conversation with my Spanish instructor in how she delivers her lessons. She hopes not to blow through content and would rather her students learn and understand the structure of the language rather than just learning how to say words, whilst not understanding the basics and having a base to build from Which of course, you guessed it, reminded me of when I was again a younger man learning weightlifting. For the first month my weightlifting coach (Charlie Arnett – great guy, huge, but the kindness and one of the most gentle hearted men I know) only allowed me to lift a broom stick for the first month of training. What! The basics and techniques needed to be learned first before he would let me move on to anything else
So what does Spanish and weightlifting have to do with this? Back to what I do as a profession…I review what your company, organization have in place and I take the basics (known best practices and standards) and I apply them to what your company, organization has ( or even create new), overlaying the knowledge of where the company, organization is, what your business does, and what your needs are. Put that all into either your Security procedures, your Emergency preparedness training or your Emergency Response Plans.
I assist your company, organization in figuring out what it’s broom stick is, what will be it’s foundation. All the while listening, writing, reviewing, coaching, and delivering the company, organization a product that will then allow your company, organization to work with it and begin to see where the puck is going to be.
Plan the Work (creating the broom stick foundation). Work the Plan (learning and honing the skills to see where the puck is going to be)
Here’s some context. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to interact with, read the material of, and visit several post secondary institutions lately and I can’t understand how this happens.
My concerns revolves around spelling mistakes, sending people into possible danger, spending the money and not using it, not sharing or teaching and simply letting it collect dust. Where do I start? Have you ever tried to write something down about something you’re so passionate about that you just can’t type fast enough. That’s this article.
Okay, so I pick up this pamphlet…and let me start by saying that I’m not going to name the post secondary institutions because I’ve reached out to them in hopes that they re-think about and rectify my concerns. So back to the pamphlet…so I pick up this pamphlet and it’s titled Security Information & Emergency Procedures. The pamphlet for those that need to know was on display in the common bathrooms I didn’t see it anywhere else other than the security office. So I read through it, well organized in appearance, a splash of color for affect to distinguish emergencies. But unfortunately riddled with spelling and grammatical mistakes. Now, I’m not perfect in that area but at least I know where my spell check icon is.
The real classic line within the pamphlet was that the on-site security staff will make the determination if the threat of a bomb is valid enough to call the police, if the device or package found is valid enough to call the police. Seriously, I know what level of training the staff has received, and that’s not to be taken as a shot at the staff. None of them has the experience or the training for that matter to make the determination if a suspicious package has the ability to be detonated. So I have the concern about the message they’re sending out. The false sense of expertise they may want to display to the impressionable student. Look around, many of these students are what they call mature students, professionals taking additional schooling to advance their careers, internet savvy students that know how to Google more stuff and information just to agree or disagree with their professors. So really!
“In the event of a Lockdown…leave”. Huh? Might as well not call it your Lockdown procedure but just pandemonium announcement. Leave…go where? Where is the threat? Right beside you, but you didn’t know that, you may have actually been safer staying in the room you were in, locking the door, and staying away from sight or as I like to call it Hide with Pride. Why would you send someone into harms way? You may not have meant to write that, but you did. You have a chance to fix it, and so you should.
The not sharing scares me. So I’m at a business function representing one of the charities I volunteer for. During a conversation I’m asked what I do in my daily life. So I explain and the next thing I know I’m knee deep into a conversation about emergency response procedures. Turns out the individuals I’m speaking with are part time professors at one of these institutions that know these procedures exist but have never received an orientation, a training manual but know that they’re responsible for the students in their class spaces when the lights start flashing or the bells start ringing or announcements come over the half of the public address system that still works. You would think that in an education institution they might be able to even pull off a podcast or webinar of training for their staff…maybe not.
My final beef, and thank you for letting me get this off my chest, is that I’ve seen because I’ve been part of the process, emergency response procedures get created, get tested once and never to be really looked at ever again. That information, those exercises, those books were paid for to be used. They aren’t something that’s just there to show that you were involved in a major project that took some time to complete…and that the table top or mock exercises were ‘fun’ to do…use them. Keep having table top discussions and exercises, review those procedures annually at minimum. I mean really review them, read each page to make sure the information is still correct. Things change.
The more informed your population is, the more prepared they are, the more included in the process they feel, the more likely they’re going to be involved and not confused. End result, less loss, reduced downtown, quicker return to normalcy.
Like I always say, Plan the Work. Work the Plan. It’s not going to do it itself.
Often when I meet or speak with clients this is a question that inevitably makes its way into the conversation.
What keeps you up at night?
What do you worry about? What are you afraid of happening? What are you of afraid of not happening?
In our personal lives away from work we worry about the late night knock at the door…who is it? Or that our daughter has gone on her first date and we stay awake waiting for her safe return or our son has the car out for the first time with his friends and we hope that the lessons and wisdom we’ve imparted on him stick and that peer pressure is not the prevailing piece of advice for the night.
In our professional lives it’s the terrorism attacks, it’s the active shooters, it’s the multiple explosive devices placed on our property to be remotely detonated causing mass panic and terror….No…No it’s not.
What keeps us awake at night is the same thing that happens in our personal lives, the worry that something is going to happen that we can’t control and that we may need to manage well into the problem existing. Are we prepared enough? Did we do enough to train the staff? Did we purchase the right equipment? Are we up to date?
So what do we do? We plan for it, we write about it, we seek advice on it, we talk it over with our colleagues, we stay up to date on pro-active trends, we conduct risk assessments to ensure we’re prepared for the right things and not just the flavor of the month emergencies, we practice it and we do it all over again and again.
I’d be interested to here what’s keeping you up at night. I sleep well. Actually that’s not entirely true. I worry about you not getting enough sleep. So let’s work on getting you there.
Remember…Plan the Work, Work the Plan.