Capacity assessment

What is a capacity assessment

A capacity analysis is, as the name implies, an analysis of one's capacities. Specifically, one’s capacity to handle risk and “disasters”. A capacity analysis Is usually made of 2 elements: Before an accident and after an accident, or preventive and reactive. It is a holistic view of your company's risk prevention and disaster reaction plans/policies. 

Preventive: is what measures one has to possibly prevent a disaster, it could be; Company policies, safety regulations, PPE for workers, etc. 

Reactive: is what measure one has to react to an accident, it could be; Fire extinguishers, contingency plans, local deals with other companies (example will be given later), etc. 

A capacity analysis should be based on the previously made Scenario risk analysis and Risk Matrices your company have made. That makes it possible to more precisely decide where capacity is lacking and where theres need for be better risk managing.

How to use it

There is no “right” way to make a capacity analysis. It is something you have to figure out in your organisation. Do you have the capacity to handle the risks you face during everyday operation? How do you get that? Sometimes just asking the right questions can have a huge impact! 

Some of those questions might be: 

What does the law say? - Are you required by law to specific risk managing procedures?

What does the company policy say? - Does the company have any policies on the area of risk management? If not, go back and look at the law where the company is placed. Now, should they have policies on risk management?

Does your company offer education to workers on how to handle an accident? - First aid, fire training, SOP’s etc.

Do you perform drills with your employees?

Are you equipped with tools to help you react faster to an accident? - Fire alarms, smoke alarms, sprinklers etc.

Tips and tricks: 

  1. If possible, make a deal with other companies to help out in case you face disaster/catastrophe. 
    • Say you’re your crane falls over, then a predetermined deal might save you valuable time and a lot of money. An example of this( almost): The Danish highway Police, have a deal with different companies who does vehicle removal. So, in very little time they can have an accident on the road cleaned up. Where it used to sometime take hours, now they can be on their way in 20-30 minutes (depending on the accident of course).  
  2. Put everything in a chart/diagram and write down details.  
  3. Debrief your employees after an accident and make sure your employees have access to psychological help. 


  1. The Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) has a rather long and detailed document describing capacity assessment. It is unfortunately only in danish… See it here
  2. Working on international source... 

About the Author

Mikkel K. Nyegaard

Aspiring risk manager studying Disaster & Risk management at University College Copenhagen. Currently at an intern position at RoC Consult ApS.

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