Explaining the Risk Assessment

When trying to convey the outcome of a risk assessment, it must be clearly presented, represent reality to both individuals and work groups, and be based upon as much hard data as possible. Secondly, it must be perceived as inherently useful for decision making. Thirdly, it must be credible and defensible in order for it to be acceptable, useable, and applicable.

A risk assessment must be logical, but it still may not be acceptable if based upon a foregone assumption of the risk. The risk assessment is not finite since new data and changes in processes occur, or there is a need to further reduce risk.

Risk Evaluation

Prior to any risk evaluation, a risk assessment must exist first. A risk evaluation is taking the information available and using it to make decisions. It also incorporates probability. It is a risk-ranking process using probability as its mainstay.


Risk assessment is utilized to determine the amount or degree of potential danger perceived by a given worker when deciding if an appropriate amount of action has taken place to reduce the risk for that individual to accomplish a task in a safe and healthy manner.

A risk assessment utilizes information, a hazard analysis method, and an intervention/ control program evaluation that allows for an estimation of the amount of risk.

Further Readings

Bahr, N.J. System Safety Engineering and Risk Assessment: A Practical Approach. New York: Taylor & Francis, 1997.

Burns, T.E. Serious Incident Prevention (Second Edition). Boston, MA: Gulf Professional Publishing, 1946. Daugherty, J.E. Industrial Safety Management: A Practical Approach. Rockville, MD: Government Institutes, 1999.

Goetsch, D.L. Occupational Safety and Health for Technologists, Engineers, and Managers (Fifth Edition).

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005.

Kohn, J.P. and T.S. Ferry. Safety and Health Management Planning. Rockville, MD: Government Institutes, 1999.

Lack, R.W. Safety, Health, and Asset Protection: Management Essentials (Second Edition). Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers, 2002.

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