The Anatomy of an EHS Risk Register (+ An Example!)
When it comes to EHS risk registers, many people wonder what one should actually look like.
What fields should you include? What's the best way to keep track of it all?
While there's no one "right way" of creating an EHS risk register, the effective ones do share some similarities.
Below, we've dissected the key elements of a risk register, design considerations, and security challenges so you can improve your risk management process.
Good news: When it comes to compiling the contents of your risk register, you don't need to reinvent the wheel.
Nearly all the information on your risk register will come from risks and hazards you've identified on risk assessments, job safety analyses, or other similar forms.
You can manually transfer each risk identified into your risk register, or automate this process by using risk management software to pull relevant information into the risk register.
Next, you’ll score each risk identified based on factors like the severity of the risk and the likelihood of the risk occurring.
So at a minimum, your risk register should include:
- the risk identified
- the severity of the risk
- the likelihood of the risk occurring
Many companies also choose to include risk mitigation strategies on their risk register. After identifying and scoring the risk, you can identify mitigation strategies, and record a post-mitigation ranking. This is especially useful in determining which mitigation strategies are most effective for certain risks or hazards.
Coming up next, we'll look at how your risk register design can influence its usability (or lack thereof).
Your risk register should be designed to communicate the most important risk information at a glance.
Only the most important fields should be displayed in the main risk register view, with the option to drill down as needed. Otherwise, it's easy to get bogged down in the details and miss the big picture.
Unlike spreadsheets, a database allows you to view your risk register in a dynamic dashboard table:
This risk register examples shows how you can use dashboards to view the top ranking company-wide risks.
This enables you to quickly communicate the overall risk profile to your team and management.
In addition to paying attention to your risk register’s design, it's important to have a plan in place for keeping your registry secure.
A locked spreadsheet is better than nothing, but a secure database where you can control access to all or part of the risk register is the safest option.
A well-thought-out EHS risk register can improve your overall risk management process. If you haven't introduced risk registers into your organization yet, now is a great time to do so.