Saturday, September 10, 2011

ARS Risk Reduction Reviews - Both Internal and External Reviews are Better

Risk Reduction Reviews at Austian's Risk Services, Inc. (ARS) using ARS Risk Reduction Reviews are designed to support the different requirements and audit scenarios typical of any company.

  • Internal Reviews Only (Good)
  • External Reviews Only (Better)
  • A Combination of External and Internal Reviews (Best)

The preferred method is a combination of both external reviews by ARS reviewers and internal reviews by internal safety staff for at least the first year with 100% of locations being audited by ARS. This establishes a good baseline "state of the nation" upon which to build your audit program in second and subsequent years and to train your staff to properly and consistently perform the reviews.

Standards of performance can then be established and agreed upon by operations and future reviews measured against this internally developed and agreed upon standard.  Reviewing 100% of the locations the first year also helps in creating the buy-in necessary from operations since everyone shares in the "pain" equally and had a role in creating the standards they will be measured against.

The second year could then consist of a mix of external and internal reviews with maybe 10 - 20% of the locations reviewed by external ARS reviewers and 100% of the locations by internal reviewers. External ARS reviewers would be used as a disinterested third party without any ties to the company or operations to thereby ensure a fair and balanced evaluation consistent across the organization. The locations to be reviewed could represent a cross-section of your company's locations or could just target the poorest performers or a mix of both in each region or area.

Often times however, companies lack the internal staff and/or resources to review 100% of the locations and believe it is preferable to have the external reviewers review all locations and internal reviewers just "reaudit" locations that have done poorly or to just focus in on specific areas identified as requiring more attention. By targeting opportunity areas already identified by the external reviewers, internal safety staff resources can be used more effectively.

It is also preferrable to have a certain percentage or number of reviews be "test" reviews. Depending on the size of the organization, this typically ranges anywhere from two to ten reviews. Once these test reviews are completed and a standardized template for all future reviews developed, it makes it easier to perform the reviews without any surprises or sudden unexpected and possibly disruptive, unwelcome or confusing changes after a large number of reviews have already been completed. Retroactive restating of results are also avoided.

Test reviews are done by external ARS reviewers only using ARS Risk Reduction Reviews. However, internal safety and operations staff are welcome and encouraged to be present and involved in the review, however, they will not use ARS Risk Reduction Reviews until after the test reviews are completed and have started training.

Although a combination of both internal and external reviews of 100% of the locations is the preferred method, external reviews done by ARS reviewers only is also a very good option for many organizations. This is especially true for companies that do not want to develop or need a full-blown internal review capability or believe the best results are best left to the experts!

Anyway you want it, Austian's Risk Services, Inc. can provide a solution tailored to your situation.

For more information about Risk Reduction Review Services at Austian's Risk Services, Inc., please check out our website at:

ARS Risk Reduction Reviews

Thursday, August 18, 2011

ARS Risk Reduction Reviews - Action Plans and Corrective Actions

One of the most important aspects of any audit is getting, not just the results (findings), but also the action plan (corrective actions). Developing and completing the action plan is often the most complicated and time consuming part of the whole process. The completed audit is truly only half the battle.

It can take a week or longer to put together a good action plan and too often this gets put on the "back burner" because of other priorities. The resulting action plans are many times not worth the paper they are printed on. Worse still, the problems identified in the audit do not get corrected and procedures are not put in place to prevent them from reoccurring in the future.

With ARS Risk Reduction Reviews, 100% completed action plans with corrective actions, regulatory standards, SOPs, references, target completion dates and responsible person(s) are generated at the closing conference before the auditor leaves. As a result, work on the action plan can begin immediately.

All problems areas discovered during the audit are delineated on the action plan, along with:

  • Detail Regarding Exactly What the Deficiences Were
  • Corrective Actions (professionally developed by experienced experts)
  • Responsible Person(s) assigned to implement the corrective actions
  • Target Completion Date
  • Actual Completion Date
  • References to Company SOPs, Policies, Contracts, Manuals, etc.
  • References to Regulatory Standards (DOT, OSHA, EPA, ADA, etc).
The action plan is a working document saved as a Microsoft Excel worksheet that can be edited by management staff.

Everyone involved knows what has to be done, when it has to be done, why it has to be done and exactly who is responsible for each and every deficiency found on the audit.

This 100% completed action plan helps to ensure that corrective actions are understood and are actually implemented so that the problems do not reoccur.

For more information about Risk Reduction Review Services at Austian's Risk Services, Inc., please checkout our website at:

ARS Risk Reduction Reviews

Thursday, August 11, 2011

ARS Risk Reduction Reviews - Getting the Data Out is Easy

With any database application, entering your data is only half the battle. Many database applications may handle data entry (inputs) reasonably well (or not), but then fail when it comes to quickly and easily producing meaningful results in the form of reports, charts/graphs, exports, etc (outputs). Unfortunately, applications all too often look like something only your IT department would love to use.

The learning curve just to figure out how to enter your audit data can be steep enough, but then you go to print something (to get the data out) and discover you have to fight the application all over again just to print even the simpliest report. You will often be asked to enter "Parameters", "Date Ranges", "Generate" something called a "Query", etc., before you can even know what the report will look like. Even frequently used standardized reports can require considerable training and expertise to generate (something the vendor will be happy to offer and charge you for).

With ARS Risk Reduction Reviews printing reports, charts/graphs and exporting data is just as quick and easy as entering the data was in the first place. A single click on a button is all it takes to produce any type of output. One-click Reports. One-click Charts/Graphs. One-click Exports. One-click Screenshots.

Also, everything is automatically previewed first so you know exactly what you are getting before you produce the report, chart/graph, export, etc. This makes learning how to use ARS Risk Reduction Reviews a snap. It also nicely accomodates the laptop user who may not always want to carry a printer around with them everywhere they go.

This "expertise" and "skill set" carries over to each and every report, chart/graph or export throughout the entire application. Once you have mastered clicking on one button, you will have completely mastered the process for ALL of them. In addition, it makes generating any kind of output a very rapid fire process you can learn with little or no training or reference to a user guide or, heaven forbid, the dreaded and never used F1 Help emergency option!

Top 10 Things to Know About Reports, Charts/Graphs and Export Options:

  1. With a Single Mouse Click on a Button You Can Produce Any Type of Output
  2. Outputs are Always Previewed First (Nothing Goes Directly to a Printer)
  3. Outputs can be Printed, Emailed, Saved as PDF Files or Converted to Image Files (BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF), etc.
  4. You Can Export Your Data to Excel and Create Your Own Reports and Graphs, Databases, etc.
  5. A Printer is Not Required
  6. Customization of Reports, Charts/Graphs, Exports, etc., is Available
  7. Top N Reports, Charts/Graphs and Exports Take Only Seconds to Produce
  8. Presentation Quality Output is Available for Use in PowerPoint Presentations, Word, etc.
  9. Even Screenshots Can Be Used as a Report with a Single-Click on a Button
  10. Very Little or No Training is Required to Learn How to Get Your Data Out!
To learn more about Risk Reduction Review Services at Austian's Risk Services, Inc., please check out our website at:

ARS Risk Reduction Reviews

Monday, July 18, 2011

ARS Risk Reduction Reviews - Areas Covered by the Reviews

Our Risk Reduction Review Service covers the following areas in a thorough and comprehensive manner:

New Hire Requirements & Selection
  • New Drivers
  • New Mechanics
  • New Managers
Post Hire Requirements
  • Experienced Drivers
  • Experienced Mechanics
  • Experienced Managers
New Hire Training
  • New Drivers
  • New Mechanics
Ongoing Training
  • Experienced Drivers
  • Experienced Mechanics
Manager Training
  • New & Experienced Managers
  • Driver Questionnaires
  • Operation Managers Questionnaires
  • Mechanic Questionnaires
  • Maintenance Managers Questionnaires
Hours of Service
  • Hours of Service
Substance Abuse
  • Substance Abuse
  • Safety Programs
  • Instructor Training
  • Safety Committee
  • Security Program
  • Security Inspections
  • Reviewer Security Inspection
  • Preventable Vehicle Accidents
  • Non-Preventable Vehicle Accidents
  • Commercial Tickets
  • Recorded Incidents
  • Preventable Employee Injuries
  • Non-Preventable Injuries
  • Recorded Employee Unsafe Acts
  • DVIR Logs
  • Vehicle Inspections
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • OSHA Programs
  • OSHA Reccord Keeping
  • Maintenance Training
  • Driver Training
  • Management Training
  • Warehouse Training
  • Facility Inspections
  • Reviewer Facility Inspection
  • Shop Inspections
  • Reviewer Shop Inspection
Clean & Orderly
  • Office, Yard & Parking Areas
  • Maintenance Shop
Records Retention
  • Records Retention
In addition, the items being reviewed can be customized for your company to include standard operating procedures (SOPs), contract requirements, union rules, training programs, etc.

To learn more about our Risk Reduction Review Services, please checkout our website at:

Risk Reduction Review Services

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keith from ARS is attending the New Benefits Conference in Addison, TX

Keith Austian, President and CEO of Austian's Risk Services, Inc., will be attending the 2011 New Benefits Conference being held at the InterContinental Hotel in Addison, TX June 21st - June 23rd, 2011.

Please click on the link below for more information about the conference:

ARS provides Employee Benefits Enrollment Consulting to help you find an experienced benefits enrollment company.  A company can save a great amount of money by utilizing a professional benefits enrollment company.

For more information about ARS and Employee Benefits Consulting services, please click on the link below:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Catch Us at the 2011 Oklahoma Safety Council Safety & Health Conference

Keith Austian, President and CEO of Austian's Risk Services, Inc., will be attending the 2011 Oklahoma Safety Council Safety and Health Conference being held at the Embassy Suites in Norman, OK June 8th - June 10th, 2011.

Click on the link below for more information about the conference:

Keith is a past chairman of the Oklahoma Safety Council. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

About Austian's Risk Services, Inc.

Austian's Risk Services, Inc. specializes in the development and management of safety and regulatory review processes as well as risk assessment and advisor services, expert witness services, and underwriting risk analysis.  ARS is a privately owned Oklahoma based company founded in 1990.

ARS’ primary mission is to assist companies in the prevention of accidents, controlling accident related cost and regulatory compliance.  ARS strives to exceed each client’s needs to assure maximum results are achieved.  Our goal is to be the premiere risk management service company in the USA and Canada.

Management at Austian’s Risk Services, Inc. would like to serve your company in one or all of the above services.  We will do what it takes to give you the quality service you deserve.

Give us a call at 405.799.8611