On the latest episode of Risk Management: Brick by Brick, Jason Reichl is joined by Zach Wright, Risk Manager at The Haskell Company. Having been with The Haskell Company, working in risk management, since 2016 and as a certified Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist, Zach has plenty of insights to share.
In this episode, Jason and Zach discuss the evolution of perceptions towards risk management at The Haskell Company, the importance of educating contractors and colleagues on emerging risks, and Zach’s process for tracking risk appetite. They even delve into the many benefits of utilizing technology for mitigating risk, including reducing insurance premiums.
To find out how TrustLayer manages risk so that people can build the physical world around us, head to TrustLayer.io.
Changing the Perception of Risk Management
We’ve all heard the age-old adage that risk managers are the “no people”. If you had to speak to risk management, for whatever reason, you would get a slap on the wrist and made to feel like you were doing something wrong. But any risk manager knows that that is not true, and somewhat defeats the purpose of the risk management field. After all, how can you mitigate risks if you don’t know about them? And if someone feels like they will be told off for raising a risk, then they will not raise it.
This has been a challenge for lots of risk managers for many years, but Zach shares how the perception at Haskells has changed over the past seven years. He says “we’ve grown just like a lot of construction companies, and we’ve really shifted the focus from us being the ‘no people’ to us being your first line of defense.” You might be wondering how they have managed that, and the key comes in the idea of risk management being the first line of defense. Zach and his team have been encouraging their colleagues to take a proactive approach, reaching out to the team as early as possible to ensure work continues in a safe manner. The philosophy has changed for the better.
The Many Benefits of Utilizing Technology
It’s 2023, technology is everywhere in our lives, and a lot of us are fairly reliant on it for our day-to-day life. But do you ever wonder if you are utilizing it to the best of its capabilities in your role as a risk manager? Chances are you are probably not.
Compared to five years ago, construction technology helps to mitigate many more risks, reducing the severity of any potential claims, leading to long-term savings for your organization. Even more important, however, is that working with certain technology pieces in place, particularly from the cyber side, reduces your insurance premiums. There is the caveat that if you utilize technology measures that are popular, it is unlikely you will see reductions as everyone should be using them for safety. On the other hand, not using technology such as telematics for your vehicles will increase your insurance premiums for the same reason, so it makes sense to be utilizing them wherever possible.
Within the construction industry, there is still a vast number of people who see technology as no help whatsoever. However, Zach points out that the reality is that technology is “a very good, number one, deterrent for possible injuries and claims, but, number two, it’s also efficient”. Utilizing it to its maximum will allow risk managers to devote their time to the areas that need their attention most, as well as reducing costs for the wider organization in the long run.