Safety & performance are two sides of the same coin. Performance is about pursuing risk and achieving objectives, while safety is about eliminating the negative effects of uncertainty on those objectives and their achievement. What is performance without safety? Or, what is safety without performance? My answer is: Nothing!
Performing safely is what every organisation should aim for. It means it maximizes its potential in pursuing risk and taking advantage of opportunities, using its strengths, while making sure it counters threats and takes care of its weaknesses, getting optimum results.
Unfortunately the two sides of the coin are often separated, leading towards misunderstanding and sub-optimal results. Managers are occupied with chasing opportunities and safety specialists or risk managers are hired to deal with the threats and weaknesses.
ISO 31000 proposes another approach. Risk needs to be managed by every manager. Because each and every manager is in essence a risk manager. Understanding how opportunities, threats, weaknesses and strengths influence the mission and what the effects of uncertainty on the objectives of the organisation and its stakeholders are, is what management is all about.
In this view, safety specialists and risk managers are the experts that can help managers make the right decisions with their expertise in using state-of-the-art tools to identify, analyse and evaluate risk. However, it is the manager who is the risk owner and who needs to communicate and consult, determine the context and set the risk criteria. It is also the manager that needs to decide on how the risk will be treated. And finally it is also the manager that will monitor the implementation and manage the continuous improvement involved with the risk at hand.
ISO 31000 is the guiding standard for risk management, which will allow managers to integrate risk management in their daily operations. It is the shortest way towards performing safely and optimum results!
If you want to know more about ISO 31000 or if you want to become a certified risk professional, check this out:
Further information on: http://g31000.org/training/exam-and-certification/
Since September 2014, Peter is also employed at TUDelft, working as a PhD researcher for the Safety Sciences section of the Technology Policy and Management faculty.
As the managing director of G31000 Europe he is now a trainer and consultant using the ISO 31000 Risk Management Standard.
Some of his articles can be read on LinkedIn