Tag Archives: Risk

Telefonica UK Property and ISS choose Ideagen’s Enlighten system to manage governance, risk and compliance

Telefonica UK, a leading digital and communications company, and ISS, the global facilities management service provider, are set to work with software firm Ideagen on improving governance, risk and compliance operations across the O2 estate.

Ideagen Enlighten, Ideagen’s cloud-based GRC application, is to be implemented and rolled out to bring several operational improvements to Telefonica UK’s Property department. The software will provide one source of truth for the management of controlled documentation, improve visibility of audit scheduling and automate action management and escalation. Enlighten will also enhance levels of reporting and increase accessibility for Telefonica’s mobile workforce.

Darren Bryanton, Telefonica’s national FM operations manager, said: “We regularly participate in audits to assist Telefonica UK in retaining an impressive portfolio of certifications and standards which are essential in demonstrating world class service to our customers. Enlighten will manage audits and document control for the department.”

Suzanne Burge, ISS’ quality and assurance manager, added: “After a thorough review of the market, we selected Enlighten due its scalability, accessibility and ease of use. We wanted a product that we could design ourselves to fit the needs of the business, not just now but also in the future.”

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Tim Blackburne, ISS’ account director, explained: “Telefonica UK’s high standards of operational compliance and audit success rely on clear governance, audit readiness and document management. Ideagen Enlighten gives us this.”

Andrew Neish, Telefonica’s head of property, commented: “Both Ideagen and Telefonica UK share the same vision of how innovation can drive improvement in business. This opportunity to provide a game-changing and transformational system is one that we’re very excited about.”

Ideagen is a supplier of information management software with operations in the UK, the United States and the Middle East. The company specialises in eGRC (Enterprise Governance, Risk and Compliance) and healthcare solutions for organisations operating within highly regulated industries.

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Centrify survey pinpoints ID theft as key concern for digital consumers

Identity theft has ranked as the top concern among 2,000 consumers questioned about their digital lifestyles in new research commissioned by Centrify Corporation. The survey reveals that 81% of respondents stated they are concerned – or very concerned – about the prospect of having their identity stolen online.

Having credit card information stolen on the Internet is also extremely worrying for consumers, with 79% ranking it the second biggest concern above being a victim of cyber crime (73%).

Surprisingly, cyber bullying is the least concerning prospect for respondents with just 40% of consumers showing any real concern, while privacy of social networks (59%) and e-mail spam (68%) both ranked much higher.

The comprehensive survey also reveals the numbers of respondents that have a high, medium or low ‘digital footprint’ based on the amount of time they spend online in a typical week e-mailing, texting and sharing or watching digital images, songs, games, videos and apps.

62% of those very concerned about identity theft have a medium digital footprint, 46% low and 26% have a high digital footprint. Equally, only 26% of those with a high digital footprint are concerned about having credit card information stolen on an online shopping website and their e-mail accounts being spammed, showing that those who spend more time online are less concerned about their identity being stolen.

One-in-four respondents to the survey have definitely (or probably) been a victim of identity theft, 43% of victims suggesting the problem took more than one month to fix with one-in-five saying it took more than ten hours. 47% of interviewees admitted to having to spend their own money to resolve the issue, with 28% noting they’ve spent at least £60 (in turn highlighting the need for increased password security).

Identity theft remains a key concern for online shoppers in both America and the UK

Identity theft remains a key concern for online shoppers in both America and the UK

Security of personal information at risk

“With so much of our time now spent online, be it in relation to social networking, banking or shopping, the security of our personal information and, more importantly, our identities is being put at risk on a daily basis,” explained Tom Kemp (CEO at Centrify).

“According to our survey, online purchases are the top reason why users feel they became victims of identity theft, underscoring the importance of confidence in one’s own online security. Consumers have very little faith in the absolute security of their passwords. Just 15% believe those passwords are very secure, regardless of the amount and type of characters used. Being able to manage our password security is crucial.”

Other research highlights:

• The groups that are most likely to say they’ve been victims of identity theft are those that probably best understand and notice the signs of identity theft: IT workers, online shoppers, higher salary workers, the ‘tech-savvy’ and those with a high digital footprint

• Those with the least confidence that their passwords are absolutely secure include individuals that do less online shopping (12%), those aged 50-64 (11%) and those with a medium digital footprint (11%)

• A plurality of consumers are only somewhat confident that their passwords for personal accounts could not be cracked by a computer program, but few are very confident

*The Widmeyer Survey was developed to assess people’s engagement with (and perception of) passwords in order to determine their efficacy in the workplace. The survey was completed in September 2014 with more than 1,000 participants in the UK and 1,000 in North America. Results were similar across both regions

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VINCI Facilities boosts lone worker security by selecting Skyguard’s MySOS solution

Part of the VINCI construction group, VINCI Facilities has chosen to roll out Skyguard’s personal safety service in order to mitigate potential risks for all of the company’s lone workers.

VINCI Facilities provides bespoke solutions and services to a variety of traditional vertical sectors including housing, education and healthcare. The company fully understands the potential risks faced by its dedicated lone workers. For example, VINCI’s resident liaison officers work alone and visit domestic properties across a wide array of locations from rural areas through to inner cities.

On that basis, Josephine O’Connor – business and community investment manager at VINCI Facilities – set about sourcing a BS 8484-compliant and approved lone worker personal safety service to support and protect the company’s lone working employees.

“Our officers encounter people from all walks of life,” stressed O’Connor. “They may find themselves alone and faced with awkward situations where there are known areas of high-risk.”

Following extensive research and after much deliberation, VINCI Facilities awarded Skyguard the contract to provide 24-hour emergency back-up for all lone worker personnel through its fully-accredited MySOS personal safety device.

The MySOS – which fits easily on a set of keys or may be carried on a belt holster – allows end users to raise an alarm at the press of a button should they feel threatened or deem their personal safety to be compromised. That alarm is immediately sent to Skyguard’s own purpose-built Incident Management Centre where trained controllers will listen-in, locate the end user, assess the situation and take appropriate action (including potential escalation of the scenario to the emergency services).

The MySOS personal safety device developed for lone workers by Skyguard

The MySOS personal safety device developed for lone workers by Skyguard

When tracking options are enabled, the MySOS device will also automatically record and transmit its GPS locations at set intervals. Alternatively, manual activation is realised by the press of a button on the device.

Locations may be viewed on a map with grid references – and in real-time – via Skyguard’s Customer Service Centre online portal.

Two-way communication and GPS location

In commenting as to why Skyguard was VINCI Facilities’ preferred choice, Josephine O’Connor stated: “The real-time link to the emergency services and the fact that the Skyguard controllers can hear what’s happening are real comforters. In a genuine emergency situation, the controllers will despatch the appropriate services to assist our lone workers. This is the degree of assurance we wanted and exactly why we chose Skyguard.”

O’Connor continued that theme by stating: “The offering of two-way communication, GPS location and emergency despatch all in one device ensures the complete safety of our staff in areas of risk. The fact that Skyguard links directly to the emergency services and that recordings are admissible in court were the deal-makers. On top of that, the security of knowing that we control all of the parameters via Skyguard’s Customer Service Centre and that we can tailor the response for every scenario from mild risks through to emergencies is ideal.”

Skyguard’s Customer Service Centre portal allows client administrators or end users to create and update their account details in real-time on a 24/7 basis. Clients can input their own emergency procedures tailored to their organisation and department or personalised to each employee.

“The Customer Service Centre portal gives us the management data we need to be able to keep the lone working staff safe,” asserted O’Connor. “It also details the geography of my teams. This has the added benefit of enabling me to better manage their time and afford an enhanced service to our clients.”

In conclusion, O’Conner said: “We have set procedures to follow in ensuring the Health and Safety of all our employees and customers. There was one incident where a staff member felt vulnerable. By using the MySOS, it gave that individual added confidence to better handle the situation knowing they were not alone.”

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Safety showers in the workplace: what does Best Practice look like?

Robert Moore considers what constitutes Best Practice in both the use and monitoring of safety showers in hazardous working environments.

Manufacturing facilities can be dangerous places. Even with the most stringent Health and Safety procedures in place, accidents can – and occasionally do – happen, and the consequences can be serious.

The level of risk clearly increases depending on the environment. Risk may arise from the machinery and moving parts. It may stem from the manufacturing process, working with intense heat or high power, or it may come from materials used within the manufacturing process (with perhaps the greatest risk coming from hazardous chemicals).

The risk posed by liquid chemicals is not so much one of ingestion but rather from spillages and/or the liquid being accidentally splashed onto clothes or skin. The most dangerous scenario, of course, is when a chemical finds its way into someone’s eyes.

Manufacturers – and indeed their counterparts in laboratories and pharmaceutical facilities – have long since identified this risk and have taken steps to limit potential harm to their employees. Wash stations are de rigeur, as are safety showers in the event that the body needs to be fully immersed.

Standards governing safety shower design and performance

Remarkably, despite the essential nature of such equipment, ensuring a business is ‘compliant’ from a Health and Safety perspective is somewhat confusing since there are only a few recognised standards specifically governing the design and performance of safety showers.

The provision of safety showers can undoubtedly prevent serious injury and even save lives

The provision of safety showers can undoubtedly prevent serious injury and even save lives

What standards are there? Unfortunately, there appears to be no complete EU or UK standard that covers all types of shower for all types of installation. The existing EN15154 standard has four completed parts that cover plumbed-in showers in laboratories and plumbed-in eye showers in both laboratories and industrial/logistics sites as well as tank showers (non-plumbed) for all sites. However, there’s no finalised standard covering plumbed-in showers for industrial (non-lab) sites.

The lack of clear EU standards doesn’t mean that an employer can install any form of shower and ‘get away with it’. They must abide by clear legal requirements to provide appropriate First Aid equipment, but the lack of an agreed standard does make the definition of ‘appropriate’ difficult to determine. Perhaps employers could look further afield for advice, and more specifically turn to our friends in the US?

America’s ANSI Z358.1-2004/2009 is a more or less holistic standard covering most types of shower and eye bath. Its scope is for all types of working environments. The thoroughness of this standard means it has become the essential reference point for those employers seeking Best Practice.

Similarly, the German DIN 12899-3:2009 standard covers plumbed and tank body showers for industrial and logistics sites, thus plugging the substantial gap in the current European norm. Indeed, it’s believed that the German standard will be followed when Part Five of the EU legislation is finally completed.

What does Best Practice look like?

Employers have a responsibility to ensure that a shower will work when it’s needed. Best Practice would include an audit of when a shower was last used. It would also include some form of alert mechanism to show when the shower had been activated – especially at a time when an individual may be working alone.

Technology is there to assist. A Limitless™ wireless switch, for example, can be easily installed on existing safety shower units and integrated with local or central alarms, building management systems and CCTV, not only to improve critical first alert response times in the event of an accident, but also to provide an audit trail of when each safety shower/eye wash station has been used. In addition, this supports employers in documenting their Health and Safety obligations.

Being wireless, it enables any washing facility – regardless of where it may be located on site – to be centrally located and tracked such that, if an emergency should occur, help is always close at hand. The switch can be manually operated or set to automatically trigger an alarm the moment a valve is opened. It can be quickly and easily fitted retrospectively to any shower installation without the need for trenching for cable or conduit, or included at the point of manufacture.

Robert Moore: Product Director (EMEA) for Electromechanical Switches and Test and Measurement Products at Honeywell Sensing and Control

Robert Moore: Product Director (EMEA) for Electromechanical Switches and Test and Measurement Products at Honeywell Sensing and Control

The solutions are available in two wireless protocols. First, there’s a Limitless™ point-to-point protocol where switches transmit directly with a receiver. In this case, the protocol allows for lost connectivity and low battery diagnostics.

Second, a ‘OneWireless’ multi-application, multi-standard wireless network that can be tailored to offer the network coverage needed for large industrial applications. Field devices mesh, allowing for multiple RF transmission pathways.

Prevention is better than cure

Having a shower installed does not in itself ensure that an employer has met their Health and Safety obligations, and neither does it ensure the safety of the employee.

Prevention, so the saying has it, is better than cure. The provision of such equipment can undoubtedly prevent serious injury and even save lives. By adopting Best Practice, and referencing those standards that are available, an employer will know that they’ve done all they can to mitigate the risk.

Robert Moore is Product Director (EMEA) for Electromechanical Switches and Test and Measurement Products at Honeywell Sensing and Control

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RiskBusiness International publishes guidance on three lines of defence

RiskBusiness International, the operational risk advisory and solutions firm, has published guidance for those companies wishing to develop, implement and maintain a formal three lines of defence structure for corporate governance and risk management.

While there has been much discussion as to what constitutes a three lines of defence model, there remains across all industries (and, notably, within financial services) little understanding of the ramifications of actually implementing a risk agnostic, organisation-wide three lines of defence model.

Drawing upon its experiences in working with a wide range of organisations across the globe exhibiting different sizes, complexities and management structures, RiskBusiness International has established a step-by-step guide to assist companies in establishing a robust, proactive three lines of defence model which is able to stand the test of time.

The resultant approach allows for custom models – there’s no ‘one size fits all’ – which have been tried and tested across corporate entities, banks, insurers, asset managers and other entities.

RiskBusiness International has published guidance for firms wishing to develop, implement and maintain a formal three lines of defence structure for corporate governance and risk management

RiskBusiness International has published guidance for firms wishing to develop, implement and maintain a formal three lines of defence structure for corporate governance and risk management

“Three lines of defence is not about risk management,” stated Mike Finlay, CEO of RiskBusiness International. “You cannot try and apply a model that affects corporate structure, individual accountability and, as a consequence, corporate culture by thinking it’s a risk management initiative – even worse if you think it only applies to operational risk and perhaps to the compliance function.”

Finlay continued: “Three lines of defence is integral to the DNA of the firm. It begins with the vision, mission and values and flows through corporate governance, corporate strategy and overall business objectives into the everyday functioning and decision-making of the entire enterprise. It’s all about the core principles on which we base our business and how we measure ourselves against the achievement of those principles and our defined business objectives.”

Global regulation, particularly in the financial services sector, is increasingly focused on good governance and how the Board and executive management behave and run the enterprise. To comply with the ever-increasing volume of regulation and achieve the firm’s potential, every enterprise should implement a robust governance structure which embraces the three lines of defence concept. On that basis, this new guidance from RiskBusiness International is an invaluable resource for every firm, irrespective of geography, size or nature.

Companies interested in more information about the RiskBusiness International Position Paper on the Three Lines of Defence should visit the RiskBusiness website at: http://www.RiskBusiness.com

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Research reveals alarming levels of ignorance and complacency about fire safety

Fire safety is a massive issue in the UK with an average of 174 building fires occurring every day, but new research has shown that people are shockingly complacent about the subject.

The Fire Door Safety Week 2014 logo

The Fire Door Safety Week 2014 logo

Published to coincide with Fire Door Safety Week (which this year runs from 15-21 September), the research reveals that almost half of the public (47%) have never been informed about the fire safety procedures where they work.

If a fire alarm was to sound, 14% of people say they would see what everyone else was doing and ‘go with the flow’. One in ten people (11%) would go into the corridor and investigate, while one in 20 admit they would simply ignore it, assuming there must be a fault somewhere on the alarm system.

When respondents with formal responsibility for fire safety in their organisations were asked if they were fully aware of their legal obligations, almost half (46.5%) said they either didn’t know what these obligations are or admitted they were unclear.

Fire is still a big problem in the UK, with an average of 174 building fires occurring every day

Fire is still a big problem in the UK, with an average of 174 building fires occurring every day

A similar proportion (45%) say they really would not know how to spot a dodgy fire door – one of the most critical passive fire protection features in the buildings we use on a daily basis.

Opening our eyes to fire safety

John Fletcher – manager of the British Woodworking Federation’s BWF-CERTIFIRE Scheme which, together with the UK’s Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS), is behind the organisation of Fire Door Safety Week – stresses that we all need to open our eyes to fire safety.

“Dodgy fire doors are usually just one of many signs of fire safety negligence,” asserted Fletcher, “but actually they’re a relatively easy one to spot and do something about. We are calling on everyone to look again at the buildings in which they live and work and to report dodgy fire doors to the landlord, building manager or owner.”

Fletcher added: “The same principle applies to all commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises, including offices, restaurants, shops, hotels, care homes, public buildings, high rise flats and privately rented apartments. All of these buildings should have properly installed and maintained fire doors to help save lives and property.”

Damaged fire door in a hotel

Damaged fire door in a hotel

There are three easy steps to check a fire safety door:
*Make sure any door marked ‘Fire Door’ closes correctly around all parts of the frame and that it’s not blocked or wedged open
*The gap between the door and the frame should be no more than 3-4 mm
*There should be no damage on the door, its edges, hinges, handles and windows

If you’re in any doubt seek a proper inspection by a qualified fire door inspector.

Video: Fire Door Safety – What Happens When You Get It Wrong?

London Fire Brigade issues fire safety door warning

The London Fire Brigade is urging residents and landlords of purpose-built blocks or houses converted into flats not to replace vital fire doors at the entrance to the property with doors that do not meet the required safety standards.

The Brigade has also raised concerns about people removing the self-closing mechanism on their fire doors to prevent themselves from being accidentally locked out.

In the last three years in London three people have died and 36 people have been injured in fires where fire doors have been replaced, left open or incorrectly fitted.

Fire doors are a legal requirement for flats which open on to communal areas shared with other tenants. They ensure escape routes are protected if a fire breaks out and are designed to automatically close behind people in the event of fire, holding back flames and stopping the spread of fire and smoke.

Steve Turek, Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Regulation, explained: “You wouldn’t remove seatbelts from your car, so why remove fire doors from your home or business premises? Fire doors are specially designed to automatically close behind you in the event of fire, holding back flames and stopping the spread of the fire and toxic smoke into escape routes, corridors and other flats in the block. It’s crucial that people don’t remove the self-closing mechanism on fire doors.”

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Institute of Risk Management launches revised International Diploma

The Institute of Risk Management has issued its revised International Diploma in Risk Management, the content of which is specifically designed to tackle complex real world risks.

With 50% of US and European banking and capital market firms reporting a lack of skilled compliance staff, and nearly 40% recording an increase in the size of their risk teams, the hunt for qualified risk professionals is very much on.

The Institute of Risk Management’s (IRM) revised International Diploma is based on the latest global risk standards and core competencies, equipping risk managers with the skills they need to work at the highest level in today’s modern business environment.

“Since the original Diploma was created 25 years ago,” explained Dr Lynn Drennan (the IRM’s education programme director), “globalisation has become a reality, cyber risk is the new ‘normal’ and once-experimental industries are now mainstream. Our revised International Diploma ensures risk professionals are qualified to deal with today’s complex realities.”

The Institute of Risk Management has launched its revised International Diploma in Risk Management to tackle complex real world risks

The Institute of Risk Management has launched its revised International Diploma in Risk Management to tackle complex real world risks

Current Diploma student Adam Skene agrees that the demands of the profession are changing. “A university degree is no longer enough for a risk-related career,” stated Skene. “You need to be able to demonstrate that you have the right knowledge and qualifications. It’s a win-win for my company. I’ve used concepts, processes and ideas from the Diploma to add value to our client deliverables.”

New emphasis placed on risk management

Regulatory reforms such as the Dodd-Frank Act, Basel III and Solvency II have seen a new emphasis placed on risk management. Basel III requires organisations to address firm-wide governance and risk management, while Solvency II requires staff to have the skills, knowledge and expertise to fulfil their responsibilities.

Against this backdrop, the IRM commissioned research into risk management competencies across the world, establishing an expert global Education Advisory Board to agree the new programme in conjunction with existing module leaders and examiners.

While the revised International Diploma incorporates core components of the previous syllabus, it also introduces additional topics including risk appetite, risk culture, resilience and future risk.

International Certificate in Risk Management

The final module of the Diploma, ‘Crises, Resilience and Future Risk’, will provide risk managers with the skills they need to operate in today’s risk environment where major risk events – from natural disasters through to the latest global cyber attacks and health pandemics such as the Ebola crisis – frequently overlap.

The revised International Diploma comprises six modules that are generally completed over three years. Successful completion of the first two modules of the Diploma leads to the award of the International Certificate in Risk Management, providing a seamless transition for those wanting to further their knowledge and expertise by studying for the Diploma.

Full details of the revised International Certificate and Diploma of Risk Management are available at: http://www.theirm.org/qualifications/international-diploma-in-risk-management/course-content/

The IRM is the leading international professional body for risk management. It’s an independent, not-for-profit organisation that champions excellence in managing risk and helps improve organisational performance. The IRM does this by providing internationally recognised qualifications and training, publishing research and guidance and raising professional standards across the world.

The organisation’s members work in all industries, in all risk disciplines and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

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