Best Practices for Managing Risk in High Hazard Industries

Despite many improvements over the last century, serious injuries, work-related fatalities and property loss remain a significant global challenge in different high-hazard industries. Improved risk identification, control and management can reduce risks to employees, facilities and the surrounding area.

Our latest Expert Connection session, Managing Risk in High Hazard Industries, is designed to examine the elements of risk management, particularly in high hazard industries, and the technologies being used to mitigate risk. Panelists include Debra Koehler, Director, Solution & Industry Marketing, Intelex Technologies ULC; David D. Wagner, Director of Applications Engineering & Product Knowledge, Industrial Scientific; and Michael Wegleitner, Corporate Director of Health & Safety, Hecla Mining Company. They will review:

  • The elements of risk management, particularly in high hazard industries.
  • How risk is determined and measured.
  • The technologies being used to mitigate risk.

The live session is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from 10:00-10:45am EDT and the registration link is here:

I recently sat down with Debra Koehler, MBA, PMP, who leads the Product and Customer Marketing functions at Intelex, to learn more about the session.

Intelex: Can you offer us a short description of the session “Managing Risk in High Hazard Industries”?

Debra Koehler: Risk exists in every workplace and risk management, and especially in the context of occupational safety and health (OSH) in high hazard industries, is a matter of life or death. The process of identifying occupational safety and health hazards, determining the risk based on likelihood and severity of work injuries, ill health and property damage, prioritizing the implementation of preventive measures to mitigate these risks and communicating the risk assessment to workers is all part of a risk management process. Ideally, risk from physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic and psychosocial hazards are identified and measured, with the intent to reduce human or organizational error and influence positive safety behavior.

Intelex: Why is the topic of interest to you and why is it important to EHSQ professionals and Expert Connect attendees?

Debra Koehler: Risk management has been a focus of mine. I spent most of my career managing products that help people deal with risk. For EHSQ professionals, the stakes are even higher. From an operational view, risk management also accounts for a significant portion of their budgets so keeping on top of the latest risk management thinking is important to cost-effectively manage the function.

Intelex: What are the takeaways you hope to leave with attendees?

Debra Koehler: My hope is that attendees will leave with a greater sense of how to identify and quantify the risks that they may encounter in their professional lives – once a risk is known it becomes much easier to deal with. As well, I hope that attendees will have a better understanding of what tools and technology are available to help them manage risk.

Intelex: Please share an example of a personal or professional experience you’ve had related to EHSQ leadership or the topic of the session.

Debra Koehler: One of my first jobs was in an oil refinery where I worked out in the tank farm.  Before I took one step out in the field, it was impressed upon me how the safety of myself, my coworkers and the community at large was dependent on my ability to recognize risk and how to deal with it. Those early lessons in risk have stayed with me as a reminder that no matter the industry, if something goes wrong, it can have a far-reaching impact and it is always better to be prepared with a risk mitigation/management plan than caught off guard and scrambling to cope.

Intelex: What do you think are some of the most pressing Risk Management issues facing corporate leaders and safety professionals in 2021 and beyond?

Debra Koehler: Post-pandemic, I believe the most pressing issue corporate leaders and EHSQ professionals will have to deal with are how to build flexibility and resiliency into their organizations, from people, processes and technology standpoints.

For more information on Expert Connect, including registration, click here.

This entry was posted in EHSQ, Health & Safety Management and tagged , , , by Sandy Smith. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the Director of Global Content and Brand for Intelex Technologies. Formerly the Content Director for EHS Today, she has been writing about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990. Her work as a journalist and editor has been recognized with national and international awards. She has been interviewed about occupational safety and health for national business publications, documentaries and television programs; has served as a panelist on roundtables; and has been the keynote speaker for occupational safety and health conferences.

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