The Editor’s Corner | Mot de l’éditeur

By Michael Bournazian, Eng., Newsletter Editor, ASQ Senior Member, Quality Management Professional, CSSGB

Both during and since the holidays, I came across a few examples of Risk Management, and not in a work related Quality context. More so in an “everyday dealing with our current world situation” context.

With the most recent revisions of ISO 9001, AS 9100 and other standards, the concepts and expectations of Risk Management were finally put into play. Ultimately replacing the long ineffective “Preventive Action”, the principles of Risk Management, Assessment, Mitigation, Acceptance, etc. all now require implementation into a company’s DNA.

But we do this all the time in our daily lives, so it is nothing new: it is only that the average person does not refer to these kinds of actions/decisions by the Quality terms. A simple example . . . when you properly clean the snow off of your car before driving, you have reduced/mitigated the risk of being in an accident because you could not see properly out of the windows.

During a recent conversation with a friend of mine who now lives in Toronto with her partner, she told me that on New year’s Eve, they saw her cousin’s wife. She was in town from Newfoundland and they had not seen each other for quite a bit. Days later after flying home, her cousin’s wife tested positive for the “C” word (see Editor’s Note below): as a result, they both had to start monitoring their symptoms. That said, they mutually assessed the scenarios in advance and decided to accept the risk of seeing this person, knowing that they were both fully vaccinated and boosted, as well as both working from home.

Closer to Montreal, my partner attended a small family dinner on Christmas Eve with her sister, her sister’s partner and their father. These three are all people with whom she has had regular contact with since March 2020, and is always aware of their situations. Conversely, the following day her sister’s partner’s family was invited over to her sister’s place for a Christmas lunch. As much as she wanted to attend that as well, based on her risk assessment, my partner decided to decline that invitation: the reality was that unlike the previous day’s get-together, she has not had any regular contact with these people, and is not always aware of there situations. So she ultimately mitigated her risk by not going.

Risk Management tools are easy to understand and use, and I am not just saying that because of my profession. Given our current world conundrum, they should be at the forefront of everyone’s thinking patterns.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Neither the “C” word nor the “P” word were used during the writing of this article.


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