Triaging Risk

Vol. 2 No. 1


As we’ve written before, to begin managing risk, you must first identify important risk or exposure. The next critical step then is to prioritize or triage those issues identified. This allows you to effectively manage and focus on the most import exposures.

The chart below is intended to help in that endeavor by presenting a “visual” array of risks.

Those risks that present significant financial or physical loss (including bodily harm) are labeled as “high severity.” Those that can potentially happen often are defined as “high frequency,” etc.

So, for example, concern about a possible suit over wrongful termination or discrimination, and concern about natural disasters (earthquake, tornado), all would be placed in Quadrant II.

While the chance of any of these occurring is slim (infrequent), concern for significant loss of money in the first two cases and the potential for injury or loss of life in the last exists.

As another example, you may consider placing concern for athletic injuries in Quadrant III or IV. Bullying may find its way into a number of the quadrants depending on your school's culture. But if placed in I or II, addressthe problem immediately.

Note: when placing the “dot” or data point, these can be positioned to reflect relativity. For instance data point # 1 in Quadrant IV, while reflecting low severity, displays higher concern for frequency than does the positioning of data point #2.

We suggest any risks placed in I (high frequency and high severity) be immediately addressed using all available resources including legal, medical, first responders, faculty and staff, students and parents.

This then would be followed by addressing, in order, those in II and IV and finally, if cost effective, Quadrant III.


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