Calculating and planning for risk

by Business Case Studies on Monday 17th October, 2011

Gritting teams have taken to the streets of Bradford in a dry run to test their readiness for winter. Bradford Council's highways staff took part in the exercise, driving the council's fleet of 26 gritting vehicles around the district's main roads. The dry run was designed to familiarise gritting teams with routes and to make sure there were no obstacles. Bradford Council is currently storing 26,000 tonnes of grit in readiness for winter, the largest amount it has ever held. The council said by gritting a short section of road, each team would also be able to check all equipment.

Louise McCall, divisional manager for highways and maintenance, said: 'We want staff to get to know the routes and make sure they're 100% familiar with where they're going to be going in the next few weeks.' This exercise demonstrates that Bradford Council has assessed the level of risk of winter weather again causing disruption to travellers and is preparing in a practical way. Driving the routes and testing vehicles will help to ensure that the council will actually be able to meet any impacts caused by poor weather.(BBC, 15th October 2011)

Eurostar provides high-speed rail services between the UK and France and Belgium. In such a highly customer-focused environment, Eurostar needs to ensure minimum risk of disruption to services and passengers, even where factors are outside the direct control of the business. This gives the company greater credibility with customers and enhances its reputation. It achieves this through its Business Continuity programme.

Business Continuity at Eurostar is an organisation-wide, proactive and structured process, managed by a central department but delivered by line managers to ensure accountability. The programme not only identifies potential risk areas through scenario planning, but also trains people by exercises or simulations in order to put in place the means to reduce or lessen those risks.

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