Dynamic risk assessments help individuals be proactive, aware, and responsive to changing risks, particularly when entering unfamiliar or potentially hazardous environments. They are particularly important for lone workers, traveling employees or students, and those who frequently visit new worksites. Organizations can support and reassure these individuals by providing pertinent safety tools using mobile risk intelligence communications platforms such as Vector LiveSafe.
Here, we break down dynamic risk assessments and discuss the ways in which mobile risk platforms can help employers and employees maximize safety and adherence to legal requirements. We also dive into these topics in more depth in our recent guide, guide, Lone Worker Safety: Risks, Considerations & Solutions.
While formal risk assessments are regularly scheduled and organized processes, dynamic risk assessments are typically conducted in the field on an as-needed basis. Regardless of the situation, these assessments include several elements:
Providing employees with easily-accessible resources makes risk assessment and proactive response more effective. These resources may include hazard assessment guidelines, relevant checklists, evacuation information, organizational procedures for job hazard analysis and risk mitigation, reporting process details, and more.
Moments of risk arise unexpectedly; providing a simple one-stop shop for instant mobile support, such as the Vector LiveSafe platform, gives employees the tools they need to stay safe.
With features such as broadcast alerts, two-way messaging, and customizable resources, Vector LiveSafe can support employers and employees as they assess and respond to dynamic risks.
To successfully assess risk in a new work environment, employees need training, access to procedures, and a reliable way to access organizational support. With Vector LiveSafe, Resources and Two-Way Messaging are right at your fingertips.
Employers can use Vector LiveSafe’s Broadcast message functionality to remind community members of these resources and tools. As employees begin their dynamic assessments, Vector LiveSafe may also be used to facilitate incident escalation and investigation. For example, if an employee encounters a workplace hazard, they can submit a LiveSafe tip with baseline risk information to immediately inform organizational leaders and, if needed, solicit guidance.
Individuals encountering risk must have a plan to leave the environment if necessary. Ideally, this will be informed by knowledge of nearby safety locations and a clear means of evacuating. Two-way communication helps inform individuals when they need to leave; Vector LiveSafe’s Safety Map and SafeWalk features can assist their departure.
Most individuals are not investigators or risk professionals, so they may not always know the best way to mitigate a situation. Additionally, if a situation is beyond an employee’s individual capabilities, often the worst course of action is for them to attempt to address it without proper training or expertise. It’s important for employees to have easy access to support.
When considering potential risk assessment next steps, individuals can use Vector LiveSafe’s Two-Way Messaging to instantly communicate with safety resources, and Resources to check relevant documentation.
After assessing the risk and considering how to respond, it’s time for employees to take action. This may include addressing the concern and proceeding as planned, leaving the worksite, or requesting assistance from a supervisor or local law enforcement. In any case, it’s important to document and report outcomes. To do this, employees can use Vector LiveSafe’s Tip Submit capabilities, one-touch Emergency Options, and Resources.
Particularly if an employee takes drastic action as the result of a DRA, documentation is critical. All Vector LiveSafe platform activity, such as tip submissions or two-way chats, can be stored and referenced as needed during incident investigations or future policy updates.
Risk is often uncertain and unexpected. When these challenges emerge, be they small or large, Vector LiveSafe ensures that your community members are never far from help. Tools like Two-Way Communication, Broadcast Messages, and Resources can help your organization more effectively address and respond to dynamic hazards.
Ryan Mayfield is an expert in safety communications and user engagement, with experience in industry, government, and academia. Together with the University of Illinois, he helped publish the first-ever study of safety communications using anonymized user data. A graduate of Stanford University, Ryan remains affiliated with the Stanford University Peace Innovation Lab.