What Is A Risk Assessment And How Can It Inform Your Disaster Recovery Planning?

Posted By on October 16th, 2019

A risk assessment involves looking at factors which have the potential to cause harm, analysing and evaluating the risks associated with these factors and determining ways to eliminate or control the risks.

Should your business carry out a risk assessment?

Risk assessments are typically associated with the health and safety obligations that you have as an employer to manage risks in the workplace. You are required by law to carry out a risk assessment if you employ staff.

If you employ 5 or more staff, then you must have a written record of your risk assessment. This should include information such as:

  • The hazards that you have identified
  • How the hazards may impact people 
  • What you are doing to control the risks

As well as being used to identify risks to the health and safety of your employees, risk assessments are also useful tools to identify threats to your business operations.

Risk assessments and disaster recovery planning

Whilst not a legal requirement as risk assessments linked to health and safety are, it’s important not to overlook carrying out an assessment of risks which may impact your business operations.

Likely to take the form of a separate document, a risk assessment can also be used in the context of disaster recovery planning.

A risk assessment of this type will typically see you identify:

  1. Risks or threats to your business operations
  2. The likelihood of these threats occurring
  3. How damaging the threat could be to your business

How do I conduct a risk assessment to inform my disaster recovery planning?

It is often best to start off by listing all of the possible factors or threats which could disrupt the normal day to day operation of your business. You need to ensure that these are relevant to your business and have a possibility of happening. Look at this list of 6 threats all businesses need to be aware of and plan for. 

Once you have your list of risks, you may then want to assign a ‘risk score’.  This will be based on how likely the event is to happen, coupled with the severity of the impact that the event could have on your business operations.

This will then give you an idea of where your most significant risks lie. Those with a high likelihood of happening and a high business impact will be where you need to focus efforts in terms of identifying processes and procedures to enable your business to act quickly and to minimise the impact if disaster does strike.

You can then start to use this information to inform your disaster recovery plan

Any disaster recovery plan is only as good as the information which underpins it. If you have not taken the time to identify all the potential risks to your business, your disaster recovery plan can’t offer an accurate reflection of the processes and procedures you and your employees will need to follow. This could leave you in a position of being unprepared if disaster should strike – something which can result in long term damage to the operation of your business.

At First Recovery, we know that you can’t eliminate all business risks. That’s why we offer specialist disaster recovery support services. If your business premises are impacted by a disaster event, we can get you set up in temporary offices and supported within 24 hours. If you have any questions about the services we offer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.