When something goes wrong the consequences can be multiple. You or your company may have to pay a fine following an investigation – hopefully you will not be prosecuted; the incident or accident is going to cause a great deal of stress and wide range of emotions as you and your management team try to recover the situation; your customer base say all the right things and appear to be sympathetic, but when they stop placing orders the effect could be terminal.

In terms of Health & Safety, injured persons may be your employees; they may be a customer or a contractor. Financial performance becomes immaterial as you come to terms that someone has come to work or attended your site and got injured. If, having reported the incident and it is of a serious nature, the Police or Health & Safety Executive will want to establish how the company is adhering to the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and establish if negligence, behavioural attitudes or lack of supervision have led to the accident.

By getting competent advice on risk management you will quickly create a firmer foundation to work from; making your staff aware of how to respond in the event of an issue, providing a Business Continuity Plan which if followed will systematically provide a route to a more stable position

PepsiCo’s 2011 Annual Report stated: ‘Our financial performance could suffer if we are unable to compete effectively…’ The Hartford & U.S. Small Business Administration, 2002 reported that ‘after a disaster, businesses are literally fighting for their very lives. A sobering statistic from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates 43 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster, and 29 percent more go out of business within two years’.

If you have not reviewed your overall risk profile and do not have a Business Continuity Plan, then now is the time to prepare one. Make sure that if the worst happens to your business, you and your business will survive. Business Continuity Management is about ensuring that whatever challenges an organisation has to face; it can do so without damage to its bottom line or reputation.

Vartan Consultancy has developed a Risk Management Bureau which, by working with Associates, provides practical Health & Safety advice, Business Continuity Planning and help with all aspects of Security.

The Risk Management Bureau is represented by: Vartan Consultancy, Arc Risk and Resilience, Wagstaff & Associates and Ashridge Security Management.