Risk management is one of the most important considerations for companies in the United States as their employees return to work. Employers are seeking effective ways to ensure the safety and protection of staff, and comply with social distancing guidelines in the workplace.

That’s why as the US rolls back restrictions on consumer and business activities, organizations are actively reassessing their risk management practices. Their considerations include:

In this blog post, we’ll look at the importance of risk management and workplace management solutions can help you understand the risks facing your organization, protect your people, and recover your operation.

Let’s get started…

The importance of risk management for a secure work environment

The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has escalated concerns when it comes to how businesses manage staff, visitors, contractors and assets. As the United States reopens, it’s important to know the risks organizations face, to ensure you can protect your people and recover your operations.

That’s why processes and controls must be in place to manage contact tracing for individuals and maintain adherence with compliance requirements. Today’s facilities are faced with having to screen and log all visitors and temporary workers as they move through designated physical areas. 

The rapid advancement of technology and the increasing complexities of many business’ operations have led any companies to a position where risk management and compliance processes are time consuming and onerous necessity. Unfortunately, the taxing nature of risk management means many companies are not equipped to effectively manage the risks they face. As a result, Aon’s 2019 Global Risk Management Survey found that risk readiness has plummeted to its lowest level in 12 years. 

The same survey found in North America, the top 5 risks companies are most concerned by are:

  1. Cyber Attacks / Data Breach
  2. Damage to Reputation / Brand
  3. Economic Slowdown / Slow Recovery
  4. Failure to Innovate / Meet Customer Needs
  5. Business Interruption

Let’s take a quick look at potential risks that organizations face when managing their workplace as well as contractors, visitors, and staff.

Scenario #1: A contractor gains access to sensitive material and exposes your organization to a data breach. 

If you fail to take appropriate precautions and place limitations on visitors, you can put the health and safety of your people at risk. And that doesn’t even account for the loss in productivity, revenue, and subsequent fines and penalties because of lack of regulatory compliance.

Scenario #2: A visitor gains access to an area of your workplace where hazardous materials or equipment are located or where hazardous operations are conducted and are injured. 

In today’s connected world where everyone can use smartphones to record evidence of organizations’ negligence, you must take steps to avoid damage to your brand. It’s especially necessary to restrict access to sensitive areas for visitors, especially children and minors.

Scenario #3: A member of your staff unknowingly returns to the work site infected with the coronavirus. 

Not only can this situation cause employee anxiety, but it can also slow down your business and is easily preventable (Here’s some advice from the World Health Organization on preparing your workplace.).

As you can see by these examples, risk management is important for every organization, industry and economy around the world is experiencing more risks than ever before and increasing complexities to effectively manage those risks. Unfortunately, in the face of these complexities, many organizations report that they feel less prepared than they’ve ever been.

Understanding the risks of non-compliance 

A certain degree of risk is inherent in any organization but too much risk isn’t sustainable.

It’s also important to be aware of the costs of non-compliance. Let’s just look at one specific example of how failure to comply with regulations can affect your business.

In the face of data privacy reformation taking place worldwide, the European Union and the European Economic Area enacted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Well, an independent study by the Ponemon Institute found a spike of nearly 45% in costs relating to non-compliance since 2011 — costing organizations, on average,  a staggering $14.82 million in penalties — and this was way before the GDPR hit the books in 2016!

And if you think you have nothing to worry about, consider this: Visitors on the premises of physical businesses are also covered under the GDPR’s scope. That means your visitor sign-in sheet is not exempt from GDPR governance. So, if your company has a paper logbook at its front desk that requires your visitors to sign in and out, this too is subject to GDPR compliance.

Not to mention, you could be exposed to potential legal liability in the future.

As states continue the phased reopening of their economies, companies are thinking through how to safely resume previously prohibited interactions with consumers and business partners, as well as how to bring employees back to physical locations.

Companies need to carefully consider specific risk management processes they can take to ensure the safety of all their stakeholders. They must develop sound processes and procedures, track compliance, and capture evidence that managers and staff are consistently following the documented corporate policy.

Risk management and technology

One way organizations are staying on top of risk management is by developing and implementing appropriate processes and procedures to identify and prevent excessive risk.

Since risk management essentially refers to the practice of identifying potential risks in advance, analyzing them and taking precautionary steps to mitigate that risk, it stands to reason effective risk management is key to creating a safe and secure work environment for all of your employees.

risk management for companies

You may have noticed the rising importance of technology in managing risk and maintaining compliance.

According to The Forrester Tech Tide™: Digital Physical Security And Employee Safety, Q2 2020, “Strong physical security controls can help reduce the risk of threats ranging from workplace violence to terrorism to extreme weather while also demonstrating a commitment to security that can help build employees’ confidence that the business is handling security appropriately.”

Perhaps when you hear “physical security,” you think of alarms and security cameras. Let’s take a look at how the right visitor management system can also help you manage risk within your organization.

How Sine helps reduce the risk

According to data from a survey referenced by Security Sales & Integration (SSI)

  • 92% of 2019 respondents report VMS creates a safer environment (up 10% from 2017)
  • 86% of respondents saw visitor management as “very important.”
  • 38% of respondents stated that the top reason for implementing a VMS was compliance (up 19% from 2018)

As you can see, visitor management systems are important for safety and compliance reasons. So, how does a visitor management system help you with risk management? I can’t speak about each particular visitor management system but here’s what I do know:

Sine is a cloud-based visitor management system that thousands of companies around the world use to secure schools, sports stadiums, offices, industrial, medical, retail and commercial facilities. 

Here are a few of the ways Sine helps those organizations with risk management and compliance procedures:

  • Powerful solution with loads of practical features — Sine is a comprehensive platform for visitor, contractor and staff management with features to help streamline compliance management, reduce risk of human error, and deliver time (and money) savings by freeing up company resources
  • Contactless inductions — The virus has made it crucial for workplaces to limit unnecessary person-to-person contact and potential transmission incidents. We’ve heard from many customers looking to alter the way they check-in, track, and collect information in order to protect visitors and employees from potential exposure to coronavirus. With Sine, you can easily check-in right from an iPad located in the reception area. Apple even released some tips on sanitizing their products in light of the outbreak. 
  • Checklists and reports — Did you know Sine can easily allow your visitors to answer exit checklists and file incident reports when they leave your site? You can use this feature to let them acknowledge they’ve returned keys, file incident reports, select dropdown items, complete checklists and view exit instructions related to your site.
  • Reporting and analytics — Sine’s Reports Page contains a variety of tools to provide you in-depth analysis of information available across all of your sites at once — from a pie graph of all your check-ins, Check-in Trends graph, or daily automatic email reports that send you (and your team) a daily summary of active passes still checked-in at your site and total guests for the day — so you can easily get a sense of what’s happening at your work site.
  • Track assets on site — Make sure only approved contractors or visitors enter your site after completing the appropriate workflow. Our workflows are perfect for creating inductions, permits, SWMS, access requests, and inspections.
  • Seamless integration with existing systems — Sine helps you avoid risks inherent in double handling of data or manual migration of data between systems.
digital risk management with sine

With all of those features, it should come as no surprise that Sine has developed a 360-degree approach to visitor, staff, and contractor management for re-opening your business in the safest possible way. Some of the key points include:

  • A completely contactless check-in journey for everyone that enters your site using QR codes and the Sine Pro mobile app.
  • Robust pre-screening and contact tracing with check-in forms and Sine Workflows.
  • The ability to scan body temperatures of all visitors and the option to accept or reject entry.

As people adjust to masks, face shields, and temperature checks and the U.S. returns to work, risk management is more important than ever.

A cloud-based visitor management system’s role in risk management initiatives 

There’s a reason our product is growing at more than 10% per month and GE, Comcast, Rolls Royce, News Corp, and many more leading companies are using Sine to automate processes and procedures.

We can help you with risk management and compliance procedures as well as help you check-in visitors, monitor time and attendance, and improve safety across your operations and facilities. 

Yes, Sine makes visitor management a breeze. But it also has a robust feature set that helps with risk management, compliance, and time-tracking.

Don’t expose your business to avoidable risks. Take the necessary steps to protect your people and your business.

If you want to see exactly how Sine can help your organization simplify your risk management and compliance, you can sign up for a free trial with Sine today!

No credit card required and you get instant access to all features.