Rethinking Risk Assessment

Rethinking Risk Assessment Gary A. Higbee EMBA CSP

When discussing risk assessments with safety professionals, there are often several themes to the conversations. Everyone agrees this is a helpful tool for prioritization of their time and safety resources. Equally, most will initially say these assessments are, in theory, “easy”.

Often, the conversation then turns to the limitations of the common risk assessment matrixes. The potential severity of an incident is usually fairly easy to determine based upon the amount and/or type of hazardous energy in the environment. The likelihood or probability of an exposure is often a bit more difficult.

If the matrix concept is expanded to include common human factors – those behaviors which we all display from time to time – then it may be a much more effective tool.