BSI study highlights growing personnel risks to businesses

Poor employee health has overtaken IT and telecoms outages to become the most frequent cause of disruption to businesses globally, according to the latest global survey of 665 businesses by the British Standards Institution and the Business Continuity Institute in their ninth annual Horizon Scan Report.

A third of the businesses reported facing disruption from health incidents, which includes “physical illness caused by working conditions” as well as “mental illness and stress”.

Despite this, when asked to assess the risks they face over the next 12 months, respondents to this survey ranked the threat as their 15th most important, and remain most concerned about cyber attacks, data breaches and IT outages.

Chief executive of the BSI, Howard Kerr, commented: “As the pressures on businesses grow, and incidents like the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak continues to capture headlines, it is important that organisations do not lose focus on the ‘business as usual’ risks. Small but frequent issues, such as the issues with employee health and well-being, can add up to cause significant disruption and a threat to organisational resilience. It is encouraging to see the role that international standards are playing in helping organisations to anticipate risks, prepare for them, and ultimately adapt to change.”

The research was conducted in the last two months of 2019, that is to say: before coronavirus became a global issue.

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