Emerging Risks: A global view

by Lisa McGuire – Emerging risks, be they cultural or technical, present both a challenge and an opportunity for the Alliance and its members. For our individual members the risks may be worksite specific, while for the Alliance they are more broadly focused, as we look to develop tools and resources to meet the health and safety needs of a diverse manufacturing industry.

Early recognition of risk is vital; it allows an organization the opportunity to take the lead on integrating effective controls into business processes rather than reacting to external pressures enacted by regulation or policy.

Risk can take many forms. Technology is rapidly changing the way products are made. This creates new challenges as controls are defined to mitigate the risks that emerge. To help prepare our members for the future, the Alliance continually scans the globe looking for best practices. Our objective is first to understand what various agencies are doing and then examine their work through the lens of BC’s regulatory and business needs.

We are establishing relationships with Germany, a country placing a high priority on understanding the risks of cyber security in computerized machines and England, where companies, not regulators, are driving safety standards to a higher level. Nationally we are working with the Radiation Institute of Canada to understand the risks of introducing radiation-based processes into a workplace and develop tools, training and programs to mitigate them. Provincially we are on the forefront of understanding current, high impact risks. We are focusing on developing effective programs to help address them, while at the same time working to identify and help control emerging risks.

Together with you, our members, we will continue on the leading edge of identifying and controlling current and emerging risks for the manufacturing sector in BC and together we will lead cultural change that will have not just a national but an international impact.