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  • Writer's pictureSofia Kongshöj | Safety Consultant

The Essentials of a Risk and Safety Roadmap

In this article:

Safety Roadmap

How you can benefit from a Risk and Safety Roadmap

A common challenge for companies is to manage, navigate, and address risk and safety aspects of their products or services. This is particularly true for smaller companies and start-ups as risk management may not be one of the primary focus areas due to limited budgets and an array of other pressing matters that require attention. Consequently, leaders may be left pondering which actions to take and when. Whether you are a startup, an established small enterprise, or a well-established business that wants to up its risk and safety game, this article is for you.

The purpose of this Insight

To assist companies and start-ups with the abovementioned, a Risk and Safety Roadmap is the solution. The intention behind this article is to give the reader an insight into what a Risk and Safety Roadmap is and how it can be developed. It will outline the various areas that constitute a Roadmap and describe how Risk and Safety Roadmap assessments can be performed effectively.

What is a Risk and Safety Roadmap assessment?

A Risk and Safety Roadmap assessment utilizes a systematic method to identify risk and safety-critical measures essential for the successful development of new products, technologies, concepts, processes, services, or facilities. It is relevant for all sectors and industries where incidents and accidents can cause harm to personnel, environment, assets, or reputation. Further, it offers to-the-point guidance to companies, with the aim to assist with:

  • Navigating risk and safety compliance with relevant regulations, standards, and guidelines;

  • Effectively managing internal risks;

  • Upholding risk and safety standards with regard to compliance and permits;

  • Conducting essential risk assessments at the correct phase or maturity.

How to perform a Risk and Safety Roadmap assessment

The Risk and Safety Roadmap assessment consists of the following steps which are further outlined in the sections below:

  • Step 1: Understanding Company Maturity, Project Phase, and Prior Safety Efforts

  • Step 2: Establish tailormade Risk and Safety Areas (company specific)

  • Step 3: Perform a Risk and Safety Roadmap Workshop (brainstorming session)

  • Step 4: Develop the Risk and Safety Roadmap

Step 1. Understanding Company Maturity, Project Phase, and Prior Safety Efforts

The first step is to understand the context of the company: activities, processes, storage, product, service, etc. Who are the main stakeholders, where will the company/production be located, what are the risks related to safety, environment, or assets and what are the major accident hazards? This initial step provides a baseline for further safety planning and implementation.

To begin with, determine the project phase and evaluate the work already completed in the realm of risk and safety. Ensure to review project-specific documentation and relevant standards, regulations, and codes for compliance.

Step 2. Establish tailormade Risk and Safety Areas (company specific)

Thereafter, identify key discussion areas that merit consideration during a collaborative brainstorming session involving company representatives and safety experts. Here are some examples:

  • Internal Risk Management;

  • Safety and Risk Assessment;

  • System Reliability and Availability;

  • Compliance and Permits.

risk and safety roadmap diagram

Internal risk management

Risk management is a set of activities used to systematically identify, analyse, quantify, manage, and prevent different types of risks for businesses. It can include internal risk management strategies such as the development of a Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) plan with internal policies and measures to achieve a rigid safety culture.

Safety and Risk Assessments

Safety and Risk assessments follow structured methods to find improvements in a design or at a company-level and ensure that preventative and mitigating measures are in place that can reduce risk to an acceptable level. Conducting risk assessments can help companies to gain insight into managing risk efficiently. The assessments can include operational risks, risks related to handling of hazardous substances, external risks, and other potential hazards and potential risks.

System Reliability and Availability

System Reliability and Availability is the probability that a system performs correctly during a specific time duration or time instance. It can for example relate to system uptime – a critical factor from a cost perspective as it directly impacts production capacity.

Compliance and permits

Lastly, compliance and permits relate to any framework the company must follow and can be challenging to understand in greater detail as there are many instances and overlapping standards. Therefore, a brainstorming session with a multidisciplinary team including safety experts can be of use to gain clarity.

Note that the key discussion areas mentioned above are only examples and that others may be relevant.

Step 3. Perform a Risk and Safety Roadmap Workshop (brainstorming session)

When performing the brainstorming workshop, address each area individually, employing predefined guidewords to streamline discussions and ensure that all relevant aspects are thoroughly examined. Guidewords for Risk Management may for example include Risk Acceptance Criteria (RAC), Barrier Management and Risk Communication. Safety and Risk Assessments may instead include Hazard Identification (HAZID), Hazard and Operability (HAZOP), Functional Safety Management, and so forth.

The workshop shall also identify pitfalls-, and other items that should be considered at an early stage as well as potential unnecessary activities and aspects that could be excluded from the scope. This is to ensure an efficient approach, avoid getting stuck in the process of managing risks, and use unnecessary expenditure.

Step 4. Develop the Risk and Safety Roadmap

Construct the Roadmap based on the insights and conclusions gathered during the discussions in the brainstorming workshop. The Roadmap should clearly outline recommendations and visualize the way forward for the company. This can include:

  • Recommended or mandatory risk assessments;

  • Documentation requirements;

  • Applicable regulations and standards;

  • Strategies for effective communication of safety-related work to build trust with clients;

  • Other pertinent recommendations to establish a robust and straightforward safety approach.

By implementing a Risk and Safety Roadmap, companies can proactively address concerns, adhere to regulatory requirements, and create transparent risk and safety processes that instill confidence in stakeholders and create business value.


With the above, we hope that you are more familiar with Risk and Safety Roadmaps and the value they provide. Need more help? Please do not hesitate to reach out to ORS Consulting. We have extensive experience in conducting preparatory work, facilitating brainstorming workshops, and developing Risk and Safety Roadmaps for multiple clients!

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