Risk Management Assessment for Manufacturers

Risk management is defined as the sufficient undertaking and handling of risks, which include identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing of potential situations that can lead to unfortunate incidents in the work place.  Several methods of risk management include transference of risk, avoidance, reduction of negative effects or diminishing probability of the risk, and sometimes acceptance of probable consequences attributed to a risk.

The strategies to manage risk typically include transferring the risk to another party, avoiding the risk, reducing the negative effect or probability of the risk, or even accepting some or all of the potential or actual consequences of a particular risk. Risk managers first conduct a risk assessment to determine all possible risks within a business.  Then, they implement proposed solution in order to reduce the probability or minimize the impact of the consequences that could arise when the uncertain event finally occurs.

Managing Risks in Manufacturing

All businesses in every industry have risks.  No one is exempt from them.  It is only in managing the risk that businesses can go beyond the threats of risky business.  Risk is extremely prevalent in the manufacturing industry and is often characterized by uncertain events that could happen on the workspace.  Manufacturing hazards have high impact and negative consequences.  Injuries in the workplace are almost a certainty, if proper risk management methods are not observed.

There are many areas on the manufacturing floor that could lead to accidents and injuries.   The repetitive and prolonged standing in assembly lines can lead to overexertion due to fatigue.  Loading and delivery areas are also considered dangerous because of the heavy lifting and constant motion.  Areas with sophisticated and expensive machines are also risky.

Risk managers are responsible for finding out the specific scenarios that can occur in the workplace and implement strategies that can avoid, share, or reduce probability of the risk.

Is Avoidance Even Possible?

Can risks be avoided in the manufacturing work environment?  The simple answer is no, as risk cannot be avoided altogether.  Avoiding risks in a work setting is almost impossible.  There can be no trade-offs that manufacturers can pursue to avoid the risks involved in production setting.  By not performing the activity that brings the risk, there will be zero productivity.  This is not the way to conduct a business.

Still with sufficient quantitative risk assessment, manufacturers can minimize the risks present in manufacturing, while increasing their gains.  By executing risk reduction strategies, companies can increase productivity and profits, while carefully managing their work environment.

Commercial Floor Mat Absorbs Some of the Manufacturing Risks

The hazards of manufacturing facilities include:

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Dismemberment and disfigurement
  • Loss of life
  • Pains in the joints namely the knees, hips, and back
  • Electrocution
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Bone fractures
  • Fatigue
  • Falling from a higher level to a lower level
  • Hit by a foreign object
  • Chemical spills

While the list of risk is quite extensive, manufacturing facilities can implement solutions such as commercial mats that can absorb some of the risks.  For example, rubber runners along the floors can help maintain sanitation and prevent slips and falls.  Using anti-static mats in areas in which there is a high probability of electrocution will protect workers from shock.  Providing proper signage in hazardous areas informs workers to be more mindful of their surroundings.

Despite the number of risks present in a manufacturing facilities, their effect can be minimized by using strategies derived from a detailed risk assessment and prevention program.  Risks cannot be completely avoided, but they can certainly be managed and can be reduced.  Responsible risk management requires companies to provide the right information to their employees so that everyone would be aware of the dangers present in their surroundings.  In addition to awareness, manufacturing facilities must invest in liability insurance so that they can be protected when the unexpected happens.

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