From Chris Potter, Director of Uniclass, ROCC.
Sir – Risk comes in a number of categories within the social housing sector; it could be operational, financial, legal or even political risk.
For example, any housing provider owes a duty of care to its field workers to inform them of potential hazards they may come in contact with during their working day. This could be exposure to asbestos in a property or hazardous materials used on a building maintenance job.
Using mobile technologies, this risk can be directly and immediately highlighted to the operative on their handheld device before starting the work. Equally, protection can be given to the operative’s personal safety by monitoring their location and enabling help to be given quickly if a dangerous situation occurs or even pro-active management, such as advising and scheduling operatives to work in pairs because of a possible risk or an adverse risk assessment of the work.
Within housing providers’ back office functions, IT can help to reduce financial risk, pro-actively warning of loss making jobs and contracts and pin pointing the cause of any issues. Ensuring that KPIs are properly managed and recorded helps manage the risk to the legal and political targets and ensures customer satisfaction remains high.
In summary, integrating asset management information with operational workflows, so that everyone involved in the process knows about the potential risks and how to deal with them, is a huge benefit in delivering good risk management.