Risk management perfect tool for holiday, winter season
by Lt. Col. Juan Gaud
Electronic Systems Center chief of safety

12/18/2002 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. (AFPN) -- In our haste during
this time o! f the year we often make decisions without giving much
thought to the risks involved or how those risks might be eliminated or

Operational Risk Management can be an excellent tool for mitigating the
risks associated with the holiday and winter seasons. The six-step ORM
process can be a helpful tool when making risk decisions but keep in
mind that more often than not a streamlined version will work just as

The six-steps are: identify the hazards; assess the risks; analyze risk
control measures; make control decisions; implement risk control; and
supervise and review. 

Here are a few instances where ORM can make a difference in your holiday

This time of the year finds many of us on the road, whether traveling to
the mall to pick up that last minute gift or trekking across country to
visit family. Before you go, take a few minutes to consider the risks. 

What will the weather be? Is your vehicle equipped to handle various
weather conditions that might be encountered? Have you had enough rest
to safely make the drive? 

When making travel plans allow yourself some flexibility so that if bad
weather is forecasted, you can alter your schedule. Bad weather
conditions combined with the stress of having to be somewhere at a
certain time can make for particularly hazardous travel. 

You can mitigate some of the risks involved in traveling by taking a few
minutes to make sure your vehicle is running properly and is equipped
with those items that might be needed should you break down. 

Think ahead about potential problems that may be encountered and come up
with plans to prevent or deal with those situations before they happen. 

Make sure you're rested and alert before you get on the road. Too often
we overdo it around the holidays and find ourselves physically and
mentally stressed to the max. 

It is better to take the time needed before traveling to make sure you
are well rested and up to making the trip. No one ever wants to get the
news that their friends or loved ones were injured or even killed in a
car accident that may have been avoided. One of the best gifts you can
give your family and friends this year is to arrive safely. 

Parties and festivities are wonderful occasions that bring people
together to relax and share in the joy of the season. I highly encourage
all office party planners to go through the ORM checklist when planning
that holiday get-together. 

Face it, there are unforeseen risks lurking around every corner when
planning an office party. Sometimes the most difficult problems are
encountered in something as simple as choosing a location. 

Whatever your office decides to do this year, plan ahead for those
unexpected challenges by using ORM. It could help make sure your
gathering is a safe, fun and relaxing time for all. 

Since Oct. 1 there have been 12 airmen fatalities across the Air Force,
that's a 300 percent increase over the total number of Air Force
fatalities last year. Supervisors should take an active posture when it
comes to practicing operational risk management; we owe it to our
employees and to the Air Force. 

While we cannot always eliminate the risks, we can mitigate them. ORM
can help keep the Grinch out of your holiday season, but only if you use
it. Happy Holidays! (Courtesy of Air Force Materiel Command News

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