What is Risk Assessment?
Safety is the judgement of the acceptability of Risk. The acceptability of risk varies significantly between that in the Eu and other developed world economies to that in the emerging economies and under developed countries. Eu social legislation legislates for employers to provide satisfactory conditions of employment and to pro-actively minimise the possibility of incurring work related illness or injury.
Risk assessment is the determination of level or magnitude of risk having regard to:
- the frequency/chance of any given hazard manifesting itself
- the time of exposure to the hazard (as a % of the 24 day or a year)
- the consequence of exposure to the hazard e.g severity of loss/injury/ illness
Risk Assessment Context
Risk assessments are required under EU safety and environmental law.
Risk assessments may be quantatitative or qualitative. They must be documented. They must be reviewed if the work conditions/assumptions upon which they are based change. Assements need to be contextualised with regard to legisaltive requirements and national standards/ codes of practice.
Organisations encounter various types of risk in its day to day operations. Some risks are retained whilst others are transferred.
A particular hazard may represent different types of risk and risk consequences. e.g. a fire hazard in a premises has obvious life safety, property and financial risks, however there may also be heritage, environmental and business continuity risks arising. The life safety risk may arise for building occupants during 12 hours of the day whereas other risk perils may exist 24 hours a day.
Footnote: past experience is beneficial but should not obscure the possibility of a hazardous event occuring that had not occured in the past or of manifesting itself at a time, manner or severity not previously encountered.