Risk Management Tools for the Transportation Industry

When we refer to risk management tools we gravitate to specific accessories that record, provide data, instruments that assist with eliminating or avoiding risk.   For example fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, alarms, dash cams, data compiled to determine high risk drivers, etc.

The most important instrument in risk management

First and foremost the most important instrument when thinking of risk management is the individual.  The individual that educates and engages into risk management.  One who can identify, determine risk and prepare to avoid or reduce the inherent risk.  

We all live with risk from our business to personal lives.   There are signs of risk management in various forms of our daily living ~ ever wonder why all side view mirrors have an inscription on them warning that objects are closer than they appear?  Ever notice sprinklers in buildings or fire extinguishers?  Off switches on escalators?  Easy identifiers of improvements made through the years to warn or reduce exposure to risk or further loss.   When an event happens we create avoidance or awareness of risk for the future.

Risk management as a mindset

Risk management is such an important mindset.  It’s about safety.  In transportation some carriers have safety and compliance departments merely as a window dressing.  Although a safety manger might have an office and a desk, management has not “bought” into the idea of safety.    The safety manager has a hard time to enlighten management about the importance of risk management or to invest into the tools that are available.  Alternatively there are carriers that invest heavily into creating a culture of safety and promote risk management at every opportunity possible.   These carriers are easily identifiable and have some of the strongest financial positions in the industry.  And in a hardened marketplace a culture of safety makes a difference.

With the evolution of the internet and other organizations, risk management tools are at our fingertips. The investment is time.  Encourage staff to be involved with transportation safety organizations or other organization that can enhance ones knowledge.   There are courses both on line and by attending schools.  The message is to be involved, be educated and be aware. 

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Linda started her career in the insurance industry in 1979 and gravitated toward the niche market of transportation insurance in 1986. Linda has been active in the transportation community since her beginnings and is a Board Member with the Durham Region Transportation Association. Since 2006, Linda has been contributing relevant industry articles in Ontario Trucking monthly periodicals

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