1. Ticklists Used in Risk Assessment and their LayoutsIn risk assessment, ticklists are crucial. They ensure that all needed information is collected during the survey. According to Fire Protection Association (FPA), the ticklist that can be used in Fire Risk Assessment is divided into six stages, and they include: Stage 1: Identifying the Fire HazardsStage 2: Identifying the individuals at RiskStage 3: Eliminating, Controlling, or Avoiding the Fire HazardsStage 4: Analyzing whether the available fire safety materials and regulations are sufficient or require improvements. Stage 5: Recording the FindingsStage 6: Carrying out periodic review of the assignmentTable 1 Shows a Ticklist Layout incorporating all these stagesStage 1: Identification of the Fire Hazards1Are there systems meant for controlling flammable liquids and gases, and the amounts of combustible materials that are stored within the work place? 2Are those systems working effectively? 3Are all the flammable and combustible materials stored safely? 4Are heaters fixed way from combustible and flammable materials, and are they fitted with appropriate guards? 5Are all portable electrical gadgets or equipment inspected on a regular basis and fixed with the appropriately rated fuses? 6Are the wiring systems periodically inspected by a competent person? 7Is the application of multi-point adapters and extension leads kept to a minimum? 8Are the flexes operated in safe areas where they cannot be damaged?
9Is the upholstery in good condition? 10Are the workplaces free from combustible waste material and rubbish? 11Is the smoking area designated and is it provided with enough ashtrays? 12Are there appropriate measures put in place for protection against risks associated with arson? 13Have suitable measures been taken to ensure that flames and smoke does not spread from one building compartment to another? Stage 2: Identifying the Individuals Whose Life Could be at Risk14Are there enough numbers of exits with suitable width for all the people present? 15Do those exits direct individuals to a safe place? 16Are all the escape routes and guard-ways free from any obstructions? 17Are all the escape routes free from any slipping and tripping hazards? 18Do stairs and steps require some repair? 19Are all exits unlocked while the premises are being used? 20Can anyone open the devices securing the final exits immediately and in an easy way without the use of any key? 21Are the internal fire doors properly labeled and kept closed under normal circumstances? 22Do doors on all the escape routes open in the travel direction? 23Do self closers on all the escape routes operate efficiently? 24Are all the escape routes properly labeled? 25Is there sufficient lighting on all the escape routes? 26Are there measures and plans put in place to assist visitors and disabled members of staff during evacuation from the premises?
Stage 3: Eliminating, Controlling and Avoiding the Fire Hazards27Are there mechanisms used to avoid the use of flammable and combustible materials? 28Are there reasonable measures in place to prevent cases of arson? 29Is the staff trained on how to use fire equipments and call the fire extinguishers? 30Have you sought advice from your insurers about fire protection of the premises?
Stage 4: Consideration on Whether the Already Existing Fire Safety Gadgets are Enough or Require Some Improvement31Is the lighting on all the escape routes working properly and regularly maintained? 32Are the fire alarms in proper working conditions? 33Are the alarm systems tested on weekly basis? 34Are the fire-fighting equipments in proper working conditions? 35Are the fire blankets and extinguishers located in suitable positions? 36Is the number of extinguishers sufficient for the premises? 37Are the fire-fighting equipments regularly serviced by competent people? 38Are the call points visible and unobstructed?
Stage 5: A Record of the Findings39Have you recorded the findings out of fire risk assessment? 40Have you informed the staff or their representatives about the assessment results? 41In case there is a formal report that you have prepared, have you shown it to the staff or the representatives of the staff? 42Do all the members in different working place know about the risks which you have identified? 43Have the individuals in direct control over some workplaces been notified about the findings?
44Is there a sufficient and prominent display of fire notices throughout the working places? 45Are there clear plans that must be followed in case of a severe fire? 46Are the copies of major emergency plans in more than one workplace? Stage 6: Periodic Performance of Risk Assessment47Are there procedures to enhance periodic review of fire risk assessment? Table 1In terms of risk assessment for a display screen, the ticklist used has this layout: Part A: This section is for official use and for entries like “name of assessor”, “workstation”, “ Date of assessment”, and “Department”, among other details. Part B: This section forms the largest part of assessment.
It covers on the desk, screen, keyboard, document holders, environment, work routines, maintenance, and about the end users. It also contains information on fire drill (employee observations)Part C: This part is meant for heads of departments or faculty or their nominee. It contains a form with columns on “action”, “who performed the action” and “date when the action was completed”. 2. SWOT Analysis, PEST Analysis, and STEEPLE ANALYSISSWOT ANALYSISThis is very important during risk assessment or when auditing an environment and an organization.
It focuses on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT analysis is mainly subjective. In other words, it is very hard for two people to come up with final versions of SWOT that are same (Manuel, 2008). Therefore, it is not wise to entirely rely on SWOT. It should always be applied in relation to competition. Table 2 below highlights on what should be covered under SWOT analysis. StrengthsStrengths can be things that add value. For instance: The distinctiveness and expertiseInnovationsA good Location or catchment areaAdministrationQuality e. g.
a power brandReputationsWide ranges in a single shopConveniences WeaknessesWeakness can lead to loss of value. E.g. A poor location at rangePoor reputation or qualityLow distinctivenessInexperienceThe challenge of controlling a wide business territory. OpportunitiesOpportunities can be an upcoming market, like the Internet, joint ventures, mergers, strategic alliances with other local and global retailers or the opportunity of moving into an ineffective competitor or into new international markets. ThreatsThreats may include, but not limited to: price wars, new competitor, innovative competitor, taxation, competitors with better distributions both locally and internationally. Table 2: SWOT AnalysisPEST AnalysisPEST stands for both Political, Economic, Socio-cultural and Technological factors.
PEST analysis is of great benefit to any project or process or industrial activity, especially before anything can be started (Hakiki, 2008). It mainly considers all the industries, including the internal environment, micro-environment and macro-environment. The internal environment includes the office technology, staff, wages, finance, among other related things. The micro-environment also touches on the agents, customers, suppliers, competitors, whereas the macro environment takes care of the economic forces, legal or political forces, socio-cultural forces, and the technological forces.
Table 3 Below Highlights a Summary of the PEST FactorsPolitical FactorsSuch factors investigate at how stable the political environment is, how the government policies influence policies on taxation activities, the government position on some political activities, the effect of government policies on the economy, the government view on religion and culture, and also the government involvement in some relevant trading agreements. Economic FactorsThese factors cover on the state of the industrial economy for both the long and short term. They also cover on inflation, interest rates, employment, and the long-term plans for economy.
Socio-Cultural FactorsThe socio-cultural factors cut across the dominant religion, the attitudes towards the industry, how the quality of language and culture affect the industry, how much leisure time the customers have, age of the wealth of the population, and the strength of the populations’ opinion on some green issues. Technological FactorsThese factors are crucial for the competitive advantage and are also a driver towards globalization. How technology affects distribution, how it allows for a cheap and quality industry, how technology enables some significant innovation, and if the technology offers new ways of communicating with consumers.
Table 3: Summary of PEST FactorsA Sample of a PEST Proforma Fig 1: Pest ProformaSTEEPLE AnalysisThe following factors are covered under STEEPLE analysis. Socio-cultural Factors such as income distribution, population demographics, lifestyle changes, levels of education, and the attitude of the people towards leisure and work. Technological Factors such as new discoveries speed of transferring technology, government expenditure on research, and industrial focus on technology. Economic Factors, such as GNP trends, business cycles, inflation, interest rates, levels of disposable incomes, and unemployment. Environmental Factors, such as environmental protection laws, and the Local Authority Policies.
Political Factors, such as taxation policies, government stability, and foreign trade regulations. Legal Factors, such as discrimination laws, monopoly legislations and employment laws. E-business Factors, such as email marketing, video conferencing, selling and buying through the Internet.