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Assessing Risk Levels in Business – Case Industrial Gases (IG)

Risk assessment is a critical component of any business strategy, and the industrial gases (IG) sector is no exception. It involves identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities that could impact the business’s operations, profitability, or reputation. In the IG industry, these risks can range from operational hazards to market volatility, regulatory changes, and technological disruptions. Let’s delve into the different risk levels in the IG sector.

1. Very Low Risk Level in IG:

At this level, risks are minimal and often easily manageable. They typically involve routine operational issues such as minor equipment malfunctions or slight fluctuations in supply and demand. For instance, a temporary disruption in the supply of raw materials might cause a slight delay in production but won’t significantly impact the overall business operations. These risks are usually addressed through regular maintenance schedules, efficient inventory management, and robust supply chain relationships.

2. Low Risk Level in IG:

Low-level risks are more significant than very low-level risks but still relatively manageable. They might include moderate equipment breakdowns or temporary market downturns that could affect production volumes and revenues in the short term. For example, a sudden increase in energy prices might raise production costs temporarily but won’t necessarily threaten the company’s long-term viability. These risks can be mitigated through proactive planning, budgeting for contingencies, and diversifying energy sources.

3. Medium Risk Level in IG:

Medium-level risks pose a more substantial threat to business operations and profitability. They could involve significant market changes such as new competitors entering the market or regulatory changes that require substantial adjustments to business practices. For instance, stricter environmental regulations might necessitate costly upgrades to production facilities to reduce emissions. These risks require strategic planning and investment to manage effectively.

4. High Risk Level in IG:

High-level risks are those that could potentially disrupt business operations significantly or even threaten the company’s survival. They might involve severe market downturns, major technological disruptions, or catastrophic operational failures. For example, a major explosion at a production facility could cause extensive damage, halt production for an extended period, and result in significant financial losses and reputational damage. These risks require comprehensive risk management strategies, including robust safety protocols, disaster recovery plans, and adequate insurance coverage.

Conclusion and Next Steps:

In conclusion, risk assessment is a vital part of business strategy in the IG industry. It involves identifying potential threats at different levels – from very low to high – and developing appropriate strategies to manage them effectively. While some risks are relatively minor and easily manageable, others can pose significant threats that require strategic planning and investment to mitigate.

The next steps involve continuously monitoring the business environment for potential risks and regularly reviewing and updating risk management strategies to ensure they remain effective. This might involve investing in new technologies to improve operational safety and efficiency, diversifying supply chains to reduce dependency on single sources of raw materials or energy, or lobbying for favourable regulatory changes.


It is recommended that businesses in the IG sector adopt a proactive approach to risk management. This involves not only identifying potential risks but also investing in measures to prevent them from occurring or minimise their impact when they do occur. By doing so, businesses can not only protect themselves from potential threats but also seize opportunities for growth and innovation that arise from changing market conditions.

Remember, the key to successful risk management is not to eliminate all risks – which is impossible – but to understand them thoroughly and manage them effectively. This requires a combination of strategic planning, proactive action, continuous learning, and adaptability.