A successful risk management program can protect your employees, members and volunteers from harm and your organization from associated costs. Because of the program’s importance, your organization’s leadership should hold the responsibility of the risk management program planning.

When implementing a risk management program, consider the following fundamentals:

  • State the reasons for having the program. These objectives will determine the depth and scope of the program’s development.
  • Write a policy statement and explain it to all employees, members or volunteers. It should clearly outline the objectives and demonstrate the intentions in achieving an effective program.
  • Assign responsibilities to all employees, members or volunteers, as everyone should have some responsibility and involvement in the program.
  • Implement an efficient communication system, allowing quick contact to organization leadership, as employees, members or volunteers likely have valuable insight. A review of the program’s results will also help identify areas that need modification.

Completing these four fundamentals will establish a supportive foundation for other elements of your risk management program. Keep in mind that all elements of the program cannot be carried out at once. Building a successful program takes time and planning. The success of one phase will often lead to the initiation of the next logical phase.

Recommended risk management program elements

  • Proper selection and personnel placement—Ensure the most qualified person is assigned.
  • Establishing safety rules and procedures—Implement guidelines that employees, members or volunteers are expected to follow. General and specific rules should be developed.
  • Accident reporting, investigating and analyzing—Make provisions to ensure all accidents and injuries are reported immediately. Prompt investigation to uncover the real causes will allow for analysis and corrective action.
  • Training—Develop a program to provide initial and continuous training for all employees, members or volunteers.
  • Inspections—Establish procedures to check regularly for unsafe conditions and unsafe acts within your organization.
  • Emergency procedures—Implement procedures to follow, including first-aid treatment and handling serious injuries, fires or other natural disasters.
  • Motivation—Keep your employees, members or volunteers interested and continually involved in risk management efforts. This can include a safety committee, posters, handouts, incentive programs, etc.


A risk management program, once designed and implemented, should be evaluated periodically to ensure its effectiveness. New techniques must be adopted to keep the program alive, growing and effective.