Risk Management is the process by which an organization identifies, assesses, controls and minimizes the risk of bodily injury or financial loss arising from its activities. In hockey, Risk Management is the process by which a Branch or Association reviews its activities, programs and operating procedures (including buildings and staff) to identify, understand and insure against the everyday risks in operating an organized hockey program.
In many organizations the turnover rate of volunteers is relatively high and a strategic planning process is limited to the one, two or three-year term of the executive in office at the time. This causes focus to shift on the immediate problems and actions and often does not allow for the development of long term plans.
In a Risk Management context, this short term planning usually leads to crisis management, where problems and concerns are dealt with as they arise, usually resulting in ‘band-aid’ solutions. Effective Risk Management is planned over the long term to provide foundation and direction for changes in activities, attitudes, objectives and situations.
Risk Management consists of four basic steps:
STEP 1: Identify the risks connected with an activity (e.g. game, locker room, arena parking lot, and travel).
Answer the question: What could go wrong? There are four main sources of risk: Facilities, Equipment, Program and People.
STEP 2: Assess the relative significance of all on-ice and off-ice risks.
If statistics are unavailable, risk measurement should be done on a scale of low, medium or high based on the likelihood the risk will occur and its potential impact.
STEP 3: Eliminate or minimize identified risks.
There are four main strategies used in controlling risks: Retaining, Reducing, Transferring or Avoiding.
STEP 4: Provide protection against unavoidable risks. This can include insurance coverage.
If the first three steps are carried out effectively, insurance or other funds will be inadequate. They will not be able to contain the claims that would arise from a risk exposure that is uncontrolled and unmanaged.
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