Have you ever thought about what your ‘risk appetite’ is, as an organisation or as a business owner or manager?

Each day, we all make decisions in our personal lives that indicate our risk appetite. “If we’re buying a new car,” says international road transport risk expert Saul Jeavons, “we don’t all go out and buy what has been proven by the data to be the safest vehicle on the market at this moment in time. We think ‘that one’s pretty safe too and I prefer how it looks’ or ‘it comes in a nicer range of colours’.

“We all make those decisions, and businesses make those decisions too.”

Transport changes driven by the global pandemic have created an opportunity – perhaps even an obligation – for organisations to take stock of transport risk and what risk we’re willing to accept.

While we can expect some re-adjustments as we emerge from restrictions, the way we do business will not return to how it was. That’s why organisations need to start preparing for what workplace road safety will look like for them, rather than waiting for when restrictions ease.

For example, will more people working from home and using their own vehicle for work trips make grey fleet safety a bigger issue for you?

What about major projects and increasing freight – is road the best option when you balance safety and economics?

Do you need to re-visit the fundamental journey planning that your organisation should be already doing: is it possible to not make journeys, can multiple trips be consolidated, is it possible to use another mode that is safer?

Begin by considering if the organisation is willing to accept the risks associated with travel, and then consider different modes of travel and their associated risks. If you identify a need for a journey, work out how to do it as safely as possible.

“The first thing is decide what your risk appetite is, and then actually look at what the consequences of the trade-offs are,” says Saul Jeavons, who is presenting an NRSPP webinar on risk displacement in mid-September.

“It’s about managing the risk to a level that you’re happy with given all of the other considerations, because there is risk in everything we do…anytime you have people travelling, whether it’s by car, plane, bus or motorcycle, there is always an element of risk.

“It’s about being aware of what the risks are, being aware of who you’re putting at risk, how much risk you’re putting yourself and other people at and, in all of those decisions, is the trade-off worth it?”

Food for thought.

Have a comment? Leave a reply