Business Hygiene: Risk Analysis Guide
This page gives hints and tips that help with the risk analysis. It also helps to find measures to cope with the identified risks. The risks have been categorized according to the Risks page and are discussed below in more detail.
In order to assess risks, first of all it is important to identify the risks. An assessment must be made on the likelihood and the potential consequences of each risk.
Please bear in mind that:
- It is only necessary to define containment measures for severe risks (likely and with considerable consequences). The judgement which risks are severe enough to justify meaures is primarily up to the assessment team.
- New measures can also introduce new risks. For instance increasing safety stocks for critical supplies might put a too heavy burden on financial resources. Thus resolving one risk can create another. So it is important to define measures which reduce the overall company risk.
A typical risk table would look like:
Nature of the risk and possible consequences
(low, medium, high)
(minor, average, major)
Measure (if any)
Who will do what about it?
Planned completion date
As a result of a pandemic, our supplier Johnson, Inc can no longer provide us power supplies for our products, so that we can not ship a complete product including power supply
Let our CPO John contact Johnson and ask them how they have prepared for this situation.
2020 Nov 3
Door handles of the main entrance may be contaminated
Install automatic doors that open on approach. Remove door knobs.
Sources hold the bio-hazard. Elimination of sources will affect the chance of someone contracting an infection. Where possible, it should be prevented that sources appear in the work environment. If already present, they should be identified and removed from the facilities as soon as possible.
In the left column below, the possible sources are listed. In the second column, suggestions are made for measures.
It is not required to implement all suggested measures. The risk analysis likelihood and consequences identify if a risk is serious enough to justify a measure.
An infectious person is a source of bio-hazards. The person may or may not show symptoms.
- implement screening e.g. at the factory gate
- facilitate vaccination of employees. If and when strictly necessary, certain risky activities can be restricted to vaccinated employees only.
- clarify with which symptoms (e.g. fever) employees are not supposed to come to work (self-screening)
- clarify what workers should/should not do in their private lives to prevent bio-hazards
- define if and how employees should report risks they encountered in their private lives
- define how to signal and deal with employees who appear to be infected while being at work
Please note that some of these measures may be constrained by local laws. Measures may have to be aligned with/approved by workers’ representatives.
Dry surfaces may contain bio hazards
- door or machine handle
- elevator buttons
- hand rails
- control panels for equipment
- computer keyboard, mouse
- Instruct workers to only touch surfaces when needed
- Implement hand cleaning and/or face masks to prevent surfaces from getting contaminated
- See if touching surfaces can be eliminated
- Leave doors open to prevent touching door handles
- Use voice control if possible
- Implement cleaning procedures of surfaces
Wet surfaces can be a breeding place for bio-hazards. These surfaces may exist in:
- cooling devices
- moist walls
- Eliminate moist when possible
- Operate (cooling) equipment according to guidelines of manufacurer
(Production) Equipment may build-up bio-hazards. This is very specific, so no general guidelines can be given
On case-by-case basis
- Regular quality examination
- Avoid standstill water
- Sterilize water before consumption
Food consumed by employees during breaks.
- Apply regulations in official canteens
- Set rules for food that employees bring in from home
- Provide clean storage facilities
Dust or waste can be a source of bio-hazards, in particular if these are wet and/or of organic nature
- Set guidelines for disposing of (organic) waste
- Clean dust
A bio-hazard travels from a source to a susceptible person by a way of transmission. In order to prevent infections, transmission possibilities should be reduced as much as possible.
Again, measures must be taken only when likelihood and consequences are severe enough, according to the risk analysis.
- Avoid body contact with persons, e.g. shaking hands
- Wear gloves or other Protective Personal Equipment (PPE), and take them off safely
Sprays, e.g. caused by:
- Sneezing or coughing infected person
- spray or mist from a contaminated machine
- Maintain safe distance to persons or equipment potentially spraying
- Wear face masks or other PPE, and take them off safely
- Circulate and/or refresh air according to regulations
Eating or drinking, while or after being exposed to a source
- Restrict eating and drinking to times and locations, after proper cleaning of hands
Animals or insects can transmit bio-hazards. Examples are bugs, rats, dogs
- Prevent animals from entering the work-floor
- Apply insect control measures
- grids on open windows
- personal insects repellent
The infection spreads when a susceptible person contracts the disease.
- Provide guidelines for persons with a higher chance of getting infected, due to their
- Medication which affects the immune system, e.g antibiotics
- Medical condition (e.g. diabetes, obesity)
- Prevent crowds, e.g. by:
- Stimulate working from home
- Regulate traffic in corridors, elevators
- Implement flexible work-hours
- Spread shift change times
The business could be seriously hampered when resources become scarce or unavailable. Measures can be defined to prevent this and/or to correct this, if it takes place.
Measures must only be defined when the risk analysis shows a high likelihood and/or high consequences.
People are necessary to run the organization.
See the above on prevention and correction.
Information and data. As a result of a pandemic, it can be that the normal flow of information is hampered. Chaos may arise. Things that were previously “normal” are suddenly uncertain. E.g. information on customers, competitors, orders, trade, supply of goods, laws, employees
- Formalize agreements with stakeholders, in order to avoid chaotic situations
- Execute a periodic drill
- Avoid being too dependent on information from others
Physical infrastructure such as buildings, workplaces or other facilities and associated utilities. As a result of a pandemic, they may be blocked, claimed by government or otherwise be unavailable.
- Investigate which infrastructure is essential for business continuity. Provide containment if buildings are inaccessible for workers:
- Production facilities: relocation of production?
- Office facilities: relocation of office workers (home, alternate location)?
- Investigate which utilities (water, heating fuel, electricity, IT) is essential and draft containment plans
Equipment and consumables. As a result of a pandemic, (new) equipment and spare parts may not be delivered in time.
- Maintain a stock of spare parts and consumables
Information and communication technology (ICT) systems
- Define how to communicate with your employees if they can (suddenly) not come to work.
- Define how you communicate in emergencies with other stakeholders (customers, suppliers, …)
- Prepare ICT infrastructure for working at alternative locations, e.g. home:
- technically: is hardware available (laptop, …), does software allow remote work
- security: is working remotely secure (safe login, encrypted transmission)
- safety: e.g. is it safe to operate a machine remotely
- capacity: is there enough network bandwidth
Transportation and logistics. As we have seen in the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, air transportation was suddenly blocked.
- Maintain a safety stock for incoming goods, a distinction can be made according to the perceived risk.
- Secure transportation of outgoing goods. Facilitate a safety stock at the customer (in case of B2B) or provide local warehouses close to customers (B2C)
Finance. As a result of a pandemic, the business may be impacted with a negative result on the financial results. A sudden negative cash-flow must be prevented.
- Pro-active agreements with financiers (banks, investors)
Partners and suppliers are likely also affected by a pandemic. Their business may be impaired.
- Identify critical partners and suppliers
- Require similar precautions (Business Hygiene) to be put in place
- Perform mutual audits
Management is critical during a pandemic: setting priorities, taking decisions, addressing and resolving impediments. Some of them may be affected and hence be (temporary) unavailable
- Define a replacement scheme for each manager in case of unavailability
- Secure communication lines from management to organization
- Prepare setting up a crisis team. Define authority, methods and means
Government may take unexpected (unprecedented) actions to contain a pandemic. These may affect all above mentioned resources.
- Spread business activities over many locations to limit dependency on one (local) government
Other measures have been suggested above to deal with shortage of resources.
Customers provide the revenue for the company. Obviously, if customer demand reduces, this has a great impact on the business.
- Bring variety in the product portfolio
- Spread the customer base, in order not to be too dependent on (local) customers
By carefully looking at the risk categories, suitable preventive and corrective measures can be defined.