Managing Risk within FM

Many of you will have noticed lately that you are having more and more interaction with those involved with managing risk in your business.


Who manages risk?

Some businesses even have a CRO (Chief Risk Officer) – basically an executive responsible for identifying, analysing and mitigating internal and external events that could threaten a company. In other companies, risk may be under the responsibility of the Chief Finance Officer/ Finance Director, or even the CEO/ Managing Director – the fact remains that whoever has ultimate responsibility for risk it is becoming a very high profile, business critical function that needs close management.


How can your business better manage risk? And how is it linked to FM?

Risk has often been viewed as a negative thing, whereas by managing risk well you can add value not only to the bottom line, but also with respect to your company’s safety credentials.

So why is risk so linked to FM? An obvious starting point is the cost and time involved if there is ever an accident. Contractor interventions can be inherently risky, from slips and trips associated with cleaning activities to hot works and working at height to name a few associated with hard services.

For example, would you know what had occurred, at each stage of a job being carried out, which resulted in someone injuring themselves or someone else during the maintenance of a lift? Would you know if the contractor had appropriate training, insurance not to mention if the correct risk assessment had been carried out in a timely manner? Would you be able to prove that all required planned preventative maintenance had taken place and would you be able to locate the certificates to prove this should an executive from the HSE come to call?

We all know that no matter what steps you take you cannot prevent all accidents from happening especially if you interact with the public on a day to day basis. However, by using a CAFM solution, such as that provided by Ostara, you will at least be able to demonstrate that you have made all possible provision to mitigate any risks.

So what exactly would you be able to prove? The following highlights the elements that are required to provide proof of due diligence to the authorities or anyone else who may question your company’s risk management processes.


Managing risk within FM


  • Above all else, individuals need to be appropriately skilled/ trained to carry out the tasks assigned to them
  • The integrated Ostara PQQ (Pre-Qualification Questionnaire) that you carried out on the contractor would show that this contractor had been put through a rigorous approval process – including all details on training (working at height, asbestos etc) and the certificates and value of insurances held plus risk assessment and method statements. We have used our years of facilities management (FM) experience to design the PQQ, but you can add and tailor it to fit your business even better
  • Asbestos records can be held to share with the contractor, prior to work commencing
  • An appropriate declaration can be made by the contractor prior to work commencing to state that they are competent in the work to be carried out and that they have assessed the work environment and assessed the risks associated with the work to be done. Even better would be that the contractor had provided a method statement or completed a detailed risk assessment or Permit to Work, prior to commencing work.

In essence, the use of a CAFM system promotes best practice as it guides all users through the correct steps to be taken. Just imagine if you could enforce the above process and collate all of the information above within minutes (all activity within the Ostara CAFM is in real-time). What’s more think of the potential cost savings in insurance and any potential court cases that can be made on the production of such detailed and accurate information.

A full audit trail should be available and should ideally include:

  • All activity associated with that job/task/work order will be logged and time stamped against the order raised?
  • The notification functionality facilitates all stakeholders being informed of problems as they arise and the actions taken to rectify them through to resolution
  • The latest PPM (planned preventative maintenance) schedule, when the asset was last attended and any linked work orders or quoted works that resulted from that visit
  • The latest certificate uploaded against that asset
  • Finally, having a mechanism for front line staff to feed back on the quality and safety of the work carried out could ensure you remove unsafe practices from your buildings before an accident occurs.


Another key benefit of good CAFM software is the ability to view your company’s compliance level down to individual buildings and assets. There are not many (if any!) large companies that can, hand on heart, prove 100% compliance. Managing risk involves the systematic detection, assessment and management of adherence to regulations which can be seen instantaneously and at a glance due to the integrating reporting suite within Ostara.

Building on the adherence to regulations – do you know the true cost of an asset or if it is even fit for purpose? Historical data can be used to assess what future risks the company could face as well as frequency and severity of potential losses (insurance and accident claims) not to mention any repetitive issues.

These are just a few of the impacts FM can have on managing risk within a business and we’ve not even covered the risks associated with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and Sustainability – basically all environmental, social and ethical factors that can positively or negatively affect a stakeholder’s trust, the company’s reputation and ultimately share price.


Contact Ostara Systems

If you’re interested in how you can better manage risk within FM, then contact our team today by calling 0844 880 2582, alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form, and we’ll be in touch.