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Author Topic:   Operational Risk
Alan Cotterell
Forum Contributor

Posts: 120
From:Benalla, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Oct 1999

posted 06 October 2000 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alan Cotterell   Click Here to Email Alan Cotterell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dear Andy, I feel I should persevere and explain the concept of operational risk management a little bit further.
As I have said before the major risk areas in any industrial process are - quality, safety, environment, security.
If you consider the situation which exists in a hospital casualty ward, where a nurse is receiving patients - she should provide a quality service to patients. In the situation where some drunk cuts loose in the ward and attacks her or patients, you have a loss of quality of service, you have a health and safety problem, you might have environmental problems (if enough blood is spilt), you certainly have a security problem.
The risks are related and there are tradeoffs between them, which are affected by the risk controls you introduce.
Any quality system procedure should cover all eventualities.

Consider the situation where a nuclear reactor is in operation. Procedures might be aimed at maintaining electricity supply, but shouldn't they also cover workplace safety (safe handling of isotopes), environment (control of isotopes so that they are not released), security (protection of isotpes from terrorists).

In most cases a policy statement reflected in procedures is sufficient to control these risks.
I suggest management manuals should have four policy areas but only procedures which define the process in the workplace, and not separate quality, safety, environmental protection and security procedures.
It's a matter of doing the job right first time, i.e. getting an output which satisfies the customer - a quality/safe/nonpolluting product produced in a safe, nonpolluting secure workplace.

In the nuclear reactor case I am a stakeholder. There has been a proposal to set up a reactor in Indonesia in the next ten years. The culture in that country is not very democratic, and I suggest that this gives a certainty of incidents occurring. The controls for quality, safety, environment and security in reactors are procedural and depend on people doing the right thing, it's just not going to happen in Indonesia, we'll get another Chenobyl.
So Darwin will not be a good place to live.

I don't really care whether you have a problem selling quality systems to organisations, the point is their operational risk must be appropriately managed, and it's a matter of controlling the risks to a level tolerable to all stakeholders.

Best Regards, Al

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awk
Forum Contributor

Posts: 19
From:Ontario, Canada
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 07 October 2000 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for awk   Click Here to Email awk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Al:

I found your risk management interesting.

I notice when reading the various forums that individuals place quality, environmental, health and safety, and security in their compartments with ISO/QS in their compartment, as though they are not related.

As far as I am concerned they should all be included when documenting, and implementing ISO/QS.

These are all processes, which I include in Process Control, and I have trouble understanding how everybody wants to separate them.

As part of my Gap Analysis, environmental, health and safety issues, which ties in with security, play an important role. ISO/QS states a company must be in control of their regulatory and statutory requirements. Therefore, as an example, when a company is building an addition, they better have the appropriate building permit as mandated by law.

When a company chooses to ignore, and does not comply with mandated regulations, and laws they then sign a waiver for me. However most companies show a willingness to cooperate, and end up with a fabulous system.
Should they choose not to sign the waiver,that's their choice, however it is my choice not to be their consultant.

Lastly all documentation, including laws, codes, etc. are listed on the Controlled Document & Data List, or master equivalent, as external documents. I don't see how any of this can be separated.

my monies worth, which isn't worth a whole lot nowadays in Canada,

awk

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Alan Cotterell
Forum Contributor

Posts: 120
From:Benalla, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Oct 1999

posted 08 October 2000 04:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alan Cotterell   Click Here to Email Alan Cotterell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've given this matter of 'compartmentalisation of thought' some consideration over the years and have come up with some reasons for it.
If you have a look at the drawings of Escher the German artist, you will see monks walking continuously upstairs, and water flowing continuously downhill around in circles, in a way which is effectively perpetual motion, which we know is impossible.
In effect we cannot look at two parts of the picture at the same time, and see the absurdity of the drawings.
I suggest similarly we cannot perceive the ramifications of the quality, safety, environment, and security systems simultaneously - we cannot see the 'big picture'.
The answer is to write policies for the four risk areas, but only procedures for actually doing the process in the workplace.
The procedure is the point of systems integration, it should reflect all policies of the organisation. It is the 'correct way of performing work', in the organisation.

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Alan Cotterell
Forum Contributor

Posts: 120
From:Benalla, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Oct 1999

posted 08 October 2000 04:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alan Cotterell   Click Here to Email Alan Cotterell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might be interested in my web sites at: http://www.acotrel.com http://www.angelfire.com/nb/hazsun/index.html http://members.spree.com/education/acotrel/labourman.htm
Please feel free to visit and use any info there.
If you find anything unreasonable I'd like to hear about it.

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Alan Cotterell
Forum Contributor

Posts: 120
From:Benalla, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Oct 1999

posted 08 October 2000 04:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Alan Cotterell   Click Here to Email Alan Cotterell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The second address is: http://www.angelfire.com/nb/hazsub/index.html
(sorry)

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