How to Predict the Future with Safety Risk Mapping

Find out more about the latest news and views from across Eco Online and the health and safety industry by reading our online blog.

Published February 11, 2022

2 minute read

Find out more about the latest news and views from across Eco Online and the health and safety industry by reading our online blog.

Data and analytics have long been an essential ingredient across the supermarket retail sector to inform business decisions. In response to COVID-19, a key task for many organisations has been to identify the new business challenges that emerged overnight and prepare for the future.

As we learnt at a recent webinar hosted by EcoOnline, for Sainsbury’s that has meant connecting their analytic resources to inform and address safety risk and guide decisions to understand what the future may hold for the company and its customers.

Having worked with Info Exchange for several years to “Risk Map” all its 2,000+ stores, the flexibility provided by the system helped Sainsbury’s to adapt quickly and gather information in response to the pandemic and anticipate where issues are likely to occur before they do.

Using the Risk Mapping application, Sainsbury’s have been able to utilise the power of data for actionable insights and plan and prioritise their stores so they can address the most important issues and risks.

What did Sainsbury’s do?

As the risks associated with COVID-19 have been evolving throughout the pandemic, this meant a collaborative approach to increase the importance of risk management rather than using audit insight. With footfall averaging 30 million customer visits pre COVID, to mitigate the new threat the business created one true view of its risk profile to map hazards across its stores, predict future incidents and manage preventative measures.

For individual shops, areas and regions, data from within the Info Exchange platform and external data from their HR and financial systems created a risk score. The scoring was built by taking data from Audits, Incidents, Food hygiene, Fire compliance, Product recalls, Store surveillance, Colleague opinion surveys, Training, Pest Control and much more. Using the data and scoring model has meant that Sainsbury’s can see at a glance which stores are high risk and potentially need additional safety and non-safety measures.
While the risks associated with COVID-19 cannot be completely eliminated in any workplace, Sainsbury’s have been able to see trends and issues that are different to those identified on audits, geo-mapping has highlighted COVID-19 hot spots and risk mapping their business this way has given the teams actionable insights and control measures so that stores remain a safe environment.

Having risk mapping in place is important for any organisation, bringing valuable benefits. First, it helps management to think about risks that most of the times may not need to be considered until it’s too late. Second, the process that ends with the risk map helps everybody to gain a much better knowledge of every relevant risk that might be affecting the company.  Additionally, an integrated risk management process means that risks are not managed in independent silos, allowing you to look at your risk environment as a whole and understand how frequencies and severities compare.

Key benefits of risk mapping software:

  • Documents risks
  • Risk indicators for both pre and post controlled measures
  • Help develop risk strategies
  • Identifies inherent risks and residual risks
  • Incorporates risk codes and risk groups
  • Assigns risk owners
  • Analyses cause and effect

Next Steps


We understand how important it is that businesses can work safely and support the health and wellbeing of its workers and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Info Exchange helps organisations to streamline and simplify their day-to-day operational health and safety management. Through a combination of intuitive software, analysis and reporting tools, it helps to capture and link vital data that increases visibility and control of workplace risk to improve health, safety and operational performance, visit Info Exchange.

Author EcoOnline

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