EHS MANAGEMENT BLOG

10 Reasons You Should Be Using Risk Scoring

Scoring is used in every part of our lives, from your credit rating to the health inspection score at your favorite restaurant. 

Yet scoring is an underutilized tool in EHS risk management. We think it's time to change all that. 

In this post, we'll show you 10 reasons you should be using risk scoring.

What is risk scoring?

First, let's clarify what we mean when we're talking about risk scoring.

Risk scoring is the process of assigning a numerical value to a risk depending on its severity and the likelihood that it will occur.

risk-scoring-example

Why should you use risk scoring?

1. Scoring gives your team a common language to talk about risks. 

Your idea of what constitutes a "moderate" risk may be very different from that of your CFO or a machine operator at one of your facilities. But defined risk scoring criteria puts everyone on the same page about what's a 4 vs. a 1.

2. Scoring helps you compare risks across different facilities. 

That way, you can assess what needs to improve at a specific facility. For example, you might notice that a particular facility scored unusually high on vehicle accident risks. You can use that information to focus on improving vehicle safety training to avoid accidents in the future. 

3. The results are quantifiable. 

We've all heard the old saying, "You can't manage what you can't measure." Risk is inherently difficult to measure, since it is in the future. Scoring offers an answer to the question, "How do you measure risk?". 

4. Scoring can be automated. 

By using a standard set of questions to collect risk observations, you can let the computer do the work of scoring. That means you can process thousands of observations instead of the handful that could be processed manually.

5. Scoring is objective. 

Because risk scores are generated by a computer, they are less subject to personal opinions, interpretations, or judgment. This can help take some of the guesswork out of decision-making. 

6. Risk scores can be linked to actions. 

For example, a score of 3 or above can automatically notify a manager or trigger a corrective action task. This reduces the likelihood of an accident or injury occurring.

7. Scores are easy to visualize. 

Unlike qualitative data, risk scores can be displayed in a chart or risk register that communicates the most critical information at a glance. With dynamic dashboards, you also have the option to drill down for more detail. 

8. Scoring helps you focus your mitigation efforts. 

As you collect more risk observations, it doesn't always make sense to act on every single risk. You want to make sure your team is prioritizing their time based on the most significant or most likely risks. 

9. It gives you away to measure progress towards risk reduction goals. 

How do you know which mitigation efforts are working? Or if you team is following through on corrective actions? Using scoring allows you to analyze just how well your mitigation plans are working. 

10. Scoring creates accountability. 

With scoring, you can easily identify who owns the risk. All 4's go to top management, all 3's go to a facility manager, and so on.

Your next steps

Risk scoring is just one method of creating an effective risk management program. Now that you know the benefits of risk scoring, take our free quiz "How Strong is Your Risk Culture?" to identify other opportunities for improvement. 

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