All organisations face safety risk to varying degrees. And a considerable amount of resources are spent on risk management processes designed to identify, analyse, and control workplace safety hazards. But how well do organisations control critical risks?
Critical risks are defined as events that can cause grave damage to a business operation, or result in worker fatality or permanent disability. Situations where, if a control is lost, a worker may be killed.
These ‘low probability, extreme consequence’ events can get overlooked within risk management processes because they seem improbable, or difficult to mitigate.
Critical control management is an integral part of risk management that focuses on identifying and managing the controls that are critical to preventing these catastrophic or fatal events.
Mitchell Services General Manager (People and Risk) Josh Bryant said the process should involve having “a good hard look at yourself” as well as engaging with frontline workers throughout.
Mitchell Services is a leading provider of drilling services to the global exploration, mining and energy industries – their work teams consistently operate within a wide range of high-risk environments.
Bryant said one of the guides they found invaluable was the International Council on Mining and Metal’s (ICMM) Critical Control Management Implementation Guide – a practical method of improving managerial control over rare but potentially catastrophic events by focusing on the critical controls.
“We put some thought into exactly what are the things that could go wrong on one of our rigs that could cause a fatal event or serious injury. The ICMM guide was a good start to learn about critical risks and controls and how they apply to our site.”
Whilst the guide was written with the mining industry in mind – its processes can be successfully adopted by businesses in any industry with catastrophic risk.
The ICMM approach is based on:
- Having clarity on those controls that really matter: critical controls.
- Defining the performance required of the critical controls – what the critical control has to do to prevent the event from occurring.
- Deciding what needs to be checked or verified to ensure the critical control is working as intended.
- Assigning accountability for implementing the critical control – who has to make it work?
- Reporting on the performance of the critical controls.
What are the benefits of implementing the critical control management approach?
- The CCM approach is designed to reduce the risk of a Material Unwanted Event (MUE). This is because the CCM approach:
- Focuses on a smaller and more manageable number of risk controls – the critical controls.
- Uses bowties, which provide a simple and readily understood picture of the links between the MUE, how it can be caused, and the critical control to prevent it occurring and minimise the consequences if it does.
- Documents the critical controls in a simple format, making explicit the performance required of them, how they are to be checked and who is responsible for them.
- Provides a way of measuring the “health” or performance of critical controls – knowing the health of controls provides a mechanism to allow more effective governance over this category of material business risks.
- Gives a clear understanding of the controls needed to manage MUEs across all levels of the organisation.
Josh Bryant will be presenting a free webinar on April 22 along with myosh Director Adrian Manessis – Critical Control Management: A Configuration Case Study with Mitchell Services.
This is the first time introduction of new and novel technology that has a significant impact on operations. Find out what Smart Technology can bring.
- Critical Risks, their methodology and the issues at hand.
- Critical controls and conformance standards.
- Smart Inspections™, control effectiveness and performance reports.
Adrian Manessis from myosh will then demonstrate how Smart Inspections™ and the Rules Engine are used to manage Critical Control Effectiveness, status and reporting.