Storm Henk with its high winds and heavy rain, caused widespread disruption to the transport system, power outages and over 600 flood warnings/alerts. This certainly fitted the definition of ‘adverse weather’. At the same time, we also saw the terrible accident at Tokyo's Haneda airport, involving a coastguard plane and passenger aircraft. Both highlight the importance of risk management, and the need for effective planning and preparation.
The disruption caused by Storm Henk has affected people commercially and domestically, not least with those still dealing with the flooding, and the family of the gentleman whose car was hit by a tree, fatally wounding him. If this level of adverse weather had happened a decade ago though – especially after the Christmas holidays, the affect it would have had on businesses, schools, and other organisations, would have been considerably more significant.
The Haneda crash saw sadly five of the six people in the light aircraft die and is a stark reminder of the diversity of workplace hazards we can face. All 379 people aboard the Japan Airlines plane escaped the crash and subsequent fire, with just one passenger sustaining injury (bruises) and 13 others requesting medical aid due to physical discomfort. They had all successfully evacuated the plane in well under 2 minutes too. This clearly demonstrates the importance of safety training, procedures, and planning.
Understanding the variety of risks that can affect our organisations and people, planning for them and investing in the right levels of control, is an essential part of any well-run and sustainable organisation. When was the last time you reviewed your risk register, and how does it compare to the likely risk you could face in 2024?