The risk management lessons we learned from the coronavirus

2020 will unfortunately be the year of covid. The year in which most of us learned that coronaviruses existed and in which we all saw our way of living and working drastically changed. Trying to learn from misfortune, in the workplace and in risk management there are many lessons to be learned from this crisis.

Four lessons from covid for risk management
The risk of the sole supplier

Having unique suppliers -that are the only ones that supply us with a certain product- is a risk that often goes unnoticed by companies. The malfunction of a supplier does not usually mean the total stop of production or work. However, events of the magnitude of the coronavirus can completely paralyze a key supplier, putting our own paralysis at risk.

This phenomenon is more common and dangerous the further away our supply sources are, since the distances to be covered are greater and -depending on the severity of the incident- even international legislation may vary. Thus, during the covid, international merchandise transits have been subject to different changes in legislation, restrictions, delays, etc.

shared knowledge

As with suppliers, it is also a risk that a single person holds the knowledge of how a process is performed. Strange as it may seem, in the area of operations of a company it is much more common than we would like to believe. This means that vacations, illnesses or job changes may jeopardize normal operation.

Among the most common phrases, especially these days, that we can hear for this reason, the classic stands out: “It’s that the person who wears this is on vacation.” Knowing how to do certain tasks should not be exclusive to one person.

Safety and hygiene measures at work

Occupational safety and hygiene manuals have the misfortune of being read diagonally too many times. This means not giving the necessary importance to these actions, which are usually seen as a nuisance, if not as an exaggeration.

With the arrival of the covid we have once again seen, in a general way, the concern to follow protocols on hand washing, use of a mask, safety distance and accessories such as partitions to separate work spaces. It is important to take advantage of this situation to reinforce the importance of following these protocols, and not just wait for exceptional situations, preventing before having to cure.

discovering teleworking

There are many companies that have had their first experience with teleworking on these dates. Apart from the facilities that teleworking provides for aspects such as family reconciliation or the reduction of emissions due to the decrease in the use of private transport, teleworking has its own aspects in risk management. For example, the remote connection of workers to company systems is another source of risks that require very special care.

By the way, the reduction of private transport also has the benefit of reducing the risk of workers having commuting accidents, but this does not technically correspond to risk management.

In the face of a crisis like the covid, it is worth trying to extract valuable lessons that can help our company.

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