By Leon Harris
Published in INsite, February/March 2005
Standards Australia has released a new version of AS/NZS 4360:2004 Risk Management that will assist aged care service operators and planners manage safety compliance, security, crime prevention and emergency planning issues.
An updated companion handbook, HB 436:2004 Risk Management Guidelines, has also been released, which provides commentary, guidance and examples on how to implement the standard.
The standard and handbook are also relevant to members of aged care facility boards (including not-for-profit organisations), facility managers, OHS managers, food services managers and architects designing new facilities.
Because risk management is fundamental to our accountability obligations, it needs to be a ‘natural’part of our corporate culture, ie it should underscore and influence all decisions, as well as be formalised. We know this is really happening when we see big savings in dollar terms –eg less personal or property damage, less lost work days, less redoing sub-standard or inappropriate work (such as a response to a WorkCover order) and so on.
However, to make savings a realistic benefit of risk management, many organisations need to have a management refocus, an organisational realignment and a cultural shift. This can be assisted by having three residing questions for business activities: Have the risks been fully identified? Have the risks been treated properly? And have the identified risks and treatment been documented? These questions are a good starting point.
The risk management concept also needs to be translated into a risk management framework suitable for each organisation. This requires objectivity, transparency, consultation and the ‘translation exercise’to be managed as a project. Owners/managers of more than one facility should consider this an advantage, as the situation lends itself to more experiences, benchmarking and possible economies of scale.
Leon Harris CPP, is the principal consultant for Harris Crime Prevention Services.
Harris Crime Prevention Services provides on an occasional basis articles by other Industry experts, such as: How Airports apply designing out crime principles