Key Takeaways

This article provides practical steps designed to make an immediate and sustainable impact on safety programs.

It explains how leaders such as risk managers and OSH professionals can drive success to the elusive buy-in and ownership that risk programs struggle to obtain.

It demonstrates how to use risk architecture to cut through the challenges and minimize the impact of obstacles.

A collaborative risk research partnership between Millersville University, Oakland University and Risk Innovation Group reached a 4-year milestone. This study was initiated to explore solutions to many long-standing risk practices that are either not working or are slow in producing positive employer outcomes.

This initiative was founded on the premise that large employers face the most challenges. With this burden, they often have greater resources to introduce and pilot new processes. Although the emphasis of this research is on large employers, research and studies include a cross-section of employer sizes. The objective is to leverage data from the most complex employer to develop new or innovative practices that will support improved processes applicable to any size employer (scalability).

This research brought attention to the complexities of organizations and the need for alternative solutions (Ogutu, Bennett & Olawoyin, 2018). Organizations represent complex puzzles in that every business process area, organizational goal, strategic and geographic initiative, compliance area, and virtually every part of an organization holds risk. In addition to those in plain sight, organizations are susceptible to emerging risks.

Organizations face natural challenges when people are confined within its four walls. Organizations develop silos and politics that add to the complexities. Silos are groups of people put together for a dedicated purpose that move toward working independently. Politics are the people in organizations positioning for personal agendas that may or may not align with the organizations best interests.

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