Exploring and Embracing the Human Dimension of Risk
Risk is everywhere, and comes in many forms. One area that risk managers tend not to focus on is the risks that arise when people work together. We have found that line employees have developed a keen understanding of these risks, and, if given the opportunity, can usually figure out how to minimize the threats these risks represent.
At SADIA, we focus on what happens when people interact in the workplace. We begin by asking our clients’ employees how they process information. That tells us what type of risk exposure they may be subject to. Then we help them develop methods to deal with the risks we have identified.
A SADIA engagement starts out using a Resiliency Survey based on methodology originally developed by Dr. Ron Westrum for the aviation industry; for example, it forms the basis for airline Safety Management Systems. The methodology has since been deployed in risk-averse environments such as healthcare – the National Healthcare System in the UK is modeled after this framework – and the nuclear industry.
Our survey can be adapted to most workplace settings. We currently are developing surveys for physicians working in clinical and hospital settings, police and firefighters working in the community and microbiologists working in biological laboratories. Once the initial survey has been completed by a representative sample of workers, the survey can be modified to capture specific information about areas of concern.