Simplify Risk Management
Written by Eric Petersen, CIC
In this article, I will give a way to simplify risk management for your tree care company so you are prepared before something bad happens.
With your leadership team, take each of the categories below and think about each of them as they pertain to your business. Think about what could go wrong in those areas and what could be (or is currently being) done to minimize the risk. I have included examples inside of each category to help you get started.
Five Categories of Risk for your Tree Care Company:
1. Other People – How can other people affect your business? Think about your customers, the general public, state and federal governments. Common exposures result from injury or property damage to others, lawsuits and penalties and fines.
Ex: Customer – their property is damaged while working on their tree in their yard.
Risk Management Solution: Create/review job briefing to ensure proper jobsite set up to minimize property damage while the work is being done.
2. Your People – How can your people affect your business? Think about your employees and subcontractors that you work with. What happens when they get injured, leave unexpectedly or file an employment lawsuit against you?
Ex: Employee – a group of employees decide to leave your company unexpectedly to start their own business.
Risk Management Solution: Create a career path to show employees how they can advance within your company to build loyalty.
3. Your Stuff – What physical assets does your business own? Think about your shop, equipment, tools, your brand, etc.
Ex: Building – fire or tornado damages your shop building
Risk Management Solution: Purchase an insurance policy with property limits to cover the building and all items inside. Make an inventory list to assist in the recovery process.
4. Your Vehicle(s) – What vehicles and trailers does your company own or use? Think about all vehicles including rented trucks and employee’s vehicles.
Ex: Flood – major storm enters your area and floods your yard which damages vehicles
Risk Management Solution: Create an emergency plan to move vehicles to a safe spot before the storm hits your area.
5. Yourself – What could happen to your business if you, the owner, are not around or not physically able to do everything that you do for the business? Think about each of your responsibilities and how someone else would have to take them on for the business to continue.
Ex: Disability – a work related injury causes you to be physically unable to work for 3 months
Risk Management Solution: Create an internal employee development plan that teaches certain team members how to do the physical tasks that you are responsible for.
And this list is the start to your risk management program!
If you want to dig into it deeper, you can rank each risk that you have listed from the most likely to happen to the least likely to happen. It also may help to put a severity rating on them; something that is most likely to happen, that has potentially severe results, should be dealt with right away. A severe auto accident is an example of this type of risk to your company. For more information on categorizing each risk, read our article on Insurance is NOT Risk Management to find a risk matrix.
After you have the risks ranked, delegate each of them to your team members to begin to manage. This is now the beginning of your risk management plan! The only thing left to do is to set a follow up time for your leadership team to circle back on these items to ensure they get taken care of or to make adjustments where needed.
Taking risk management seriously will help you build a stronger company that will be more resistant to negative situations that arise. If you are struggling with developing a risk management program for your company, please reach out to an ArboRisk team member or sign up for our Thrive New Heights Risk Management Package today!