Objectives of risk management in HSE

We will be considering the objectives of risk management; what are the goals we want to actualize with risk management.

Before we get to the objectives of risk management, let’s refresh our memory on what risk management is:

What is risk management

Risk management is a technique used to control and avoid threats to life, property, environment and business as a whole. Risk management is a practice which is required and followed by every business irrelevant of their size and nature. It aims at recognizing the potential threats in advance and all necessary steps taken to avoid their adverse effects on business operations.

Risk management should be a continuous and forward-looking process. Itis a process that requires strong leadership across all stakeholders. The best risk management programs are proactive rather than reactive. Risks can endanger an organization’s progress toward achieving critical objectives. Having a risk management plan is easier and more cost-effective than to address a sudden crisis or situation that’s gotten out of control.

Risk management is not only peculiar to HSE (Health and Safety), it is equally peculiar to the financial sector; but the optimum goal is business sustainability and profiting. To achieve this goal all round risk management is very important.

Objectives of Risk Management

The objectives of  risk management can be broadly  classified into two:

  1. Pre-loss Objectives
  2. Post-loss Objectives

Pre-loss Objectives:

An organization has many risk management objectives prior to the occurrence of a loss. The most important of such objectives are as follows;

  1. The  first  objective  is  that  the  firm  should  prepare  for  potential  losses  in  the  most economical  way  possible.  This  involves  as  analysis  of  safety  program, insurance  premiums  and  the  costs  associated  with  the  different  techniques  of  handling losses.
  2. The second objective is the reduction of anxiety. In a firm, certain loss exposures can cause greater worry and fear for the risk manager, key executives and unexpected stockholders of that firm. For example, a threat of a lawsuit from a defective product can cause greater anxiety than a possible small loss from a minor fire. However, the  risk  manager  wants  to  minimize  the  anxiety  and  fear  associated  with  such  loss exposures.
  3. The  third  pre-loss  objective  is  to  meet  any  externally  imposed  obligations.  This  means that the firm must meet certain obligations imposed on it by the outsiders. For example, government  regulations  may  require  a  firm  to  install  safety  devices  to  protect  workers from harm. Similarly, a firm’s creditors may require that property pledged as collateral for a loan must be insured. Thus, the risk manager is expected to see that these externally imposed obligations are met properly.

Post-loss Objectives:

Post-loss objectives are those which operate after the occurrence of a loss. They are as follows:

  1. The first post-loss objective is  survival of the firm. It means that after a loss occurs, the firm can at least resume partial operation within some reasonable time period.
  2. The  second  post-loss  objective  is  to  continue  operating.  For  some  firms,  the  ability  to operate  after  a  severe  loss  is  an  extremely  important  objective.  Especially,  for  public utility firms such as banks, dairies, etc, they must continue to provide service. Otherwise, they may lose their customers to competitors.
  3. Stability  of  earnings is  the  third  post-loss  objective.  The  firm  wants  to  maintain  its earnings per share after a loss occurs. This objective is closely related to the objective of continued  operations.  Because,  earnings  per  share  can  be  maintained  only  if  the  firm continues to operate. However, there may be substantial costs involved in achieving this goal, and perfect stability of earnings may not be attained.
  4. Another important post-loss objective is continued growth of the firm. A firm may grow by  developing  new  products  and  markets  or  by  acquiring  or  merging  with  other companies. Here, the risk manager must consider the impact that a loss will have on the firm’s ability to grow.
  5. The  fifth  and  the  final  post-loss  objective  is  the  social  responsibility to  minimize  the impact that a loss has on other persons and on society. A severe loss can adversely affect the employees, customers, suppliers, creditors and  the community in general. Thus, the risk manager’s role is to minimize the impact of loss on other persons.

Thus, there are the pre-loss and post-loss objectives of risk management. A prudent risk manager must keep these objectives in mind while handling and managing the risk.

Read Also: 5 Key Elements of the Risk Management Process

Other objectives of risk management includes:

  • Develop a common understanding of risk across multiple functions and business units so we can manage risk cost-effectively on an enterprise wide basis.
  • Achieve a better understanding of risk for competitive advantage.
  • Build safeguards against earnings-related surprises.
  • Build and improve capabilities to respond effectively to low probability, critical, catastrophic risks.
  • Ensure the management of risk is consistent with and supports the achievement of the strategic and corporate objectives.
  • Initiate action to prevent or reduce the adverse effects of risk.
  • Minimize the human costs of risks, Where reasonably practicable.
  • Meet statutory and legal obligations.
  • Minimize the financial and other negative consequences of losses and claims.
  • Minimize the risks associated with new developments and activities.
  • Be able to take informed decisions and make choices on possible outcomes.

Read Also: Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

In conclusion, the main objectives of risk management in HSE are:
  • To comply with the relevant health and safety legislation, and
  • Decrease the level of the occupational injuries and the ill health.

By Ubong Edet

A passionate Health and Safety professional with a good level of field experience and relevant certifications including NEBOSH, OSHA, ISO, etc certifications. An Health and Safety activist who believes in the growth and continual improvement of the profession. He is going all out to create awareness and safe precious lives.

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