Why Risk Management is Important
The concept of “Color” themed events comes from the Holi Festival, or Festival of Colours, in India, which celebrates the beginning of Spring. Hindus believe it is a time for enjoying spring’s abundant colors and saying farewell to winter. Traditionally, washable natural plant-derived colors such as turmeric, neem, dhak, and kumkum were used; but water-based commercial pigments are increasingly used today.
Festival of Colors - World's BIGGEST color party
In 2012, the first Color Run took place in the USA and this started the global trend for color themed events.
THE COLOR RUN™ - 2015 Shine Tour
When people enjoy happiness and get wild in color powder, they may not know this kind of powder is flammable. And worst of all is the planner does not know the risks. The risk of dust explosions is determined by the following factors:
- Presence of a combustible dust
- The dust is suspended in the air at a sufficiently high concentration
- The dust cloud is confined (not always required)
- There is an oxidant (typically atmospheric oxygen)
- There is an ignition source
Risk factors increase with the following:
- Electrostatic discharge
- Arcing from machinery or other equipment;
- Hot surfaces, including e.g. overheated bearings
Most event planners avoid fire risk but the crowds, which are more difficult to control, may provide points of ignition! The unfortunate dust explosion of the Taiwan Color Party event teaches the worst lesson.
Risk management is a process designed to safeguard the various elements of a meeting / an event by minimizing the amount or severity of harmful events that may occur, according to the PCMA book – Professional Meeting Management. The importance speaks loud from past experiences, yet many organizers do not prioritize risk management as well as they could. It is not only the matter of human life, but also information, property, financial investments, organization image and professional reputation. To be a responsible event planner, start to review your risk management plan and start it now!
Step 1. Identify those elements or activities which could carry a risk.
Step 2. Identify the risks associated with each element or activity.
Step 3. Determine the possibility of occurrence of the risk and the severity of the consequences if an accident does happen.
Step 4: Risk Prioritization.
Step 5. Formulate, prepare and implement strategies to manage risks.
Some common strategies used for risk management are:
- Risk Avoidance: Avoid those elements and activities which could carry a risk.
- Risk Retention: Accept some or all the consequences associated with a particular risk.
- Risk Transfer: Transfer the risk to a third party, e.g. transferring the event security responsibility to a security agency.
- Risk Reduction: Reduce the risk associated with a particular element or activity by developing an effective contingency action plan.
Step 6. Monitor the risks periodically
It is wise that we should always prepare for the worst. In the tragedy of the Taiwan Color Party, the lack of evacuation accessibility and immediate response increased the potential for mass injury. When a detailed risk management plan is made, can the facilities support it?
There is no second chance to manage risk, so Do it Right the First Time.
To learn more, please visit this conference:
22nd Annual Risk Minds International (7-11 December 2015, Amsterdam)