Purpose of Risk Assessment

The purpose of risk assessment is as follows:

  • • Identify existing hazards.
  • • Determine the extent of danger that exists.
  • • Provide for the ranking of hazards.
  • • Organize information for decision making.
  • • Give guidance for decision making.
  • • Allow for prioritizing risks.
  • • Help in characterizing risks, the potential safety and health effects of workers exposed to chemical, physical, and environmental hazards.
  • • Identify whether a safety or health hazard dose-response is a critical component to be included.
  • • The risk assessment is a needed element of the risk management process.

Even when a risk assessment is conducted, it may result in, at best, a guesstimate due to the lack of quantitative data. This is especially true when trying to establish a real risk picture of a carcinogen. This is because a safe level of exposure cannot be determined.

Risk assessments have become an important component in assuring a safe and effective operation. As safety is designed into processes, risk assessment becomes increasingly important. This will allow engineers to make good designs and operational decisions.

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