The purpose of risk assessment

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Risk Assessment

I’m often asked what seems like a pretty simple ques­tion: “Why do we need to do a risk assess­ment?” There are a lot of good reas­ons to do risk assess­ments, but ulti­mately, the pur­pose of risk assess­ment is best summed up in this quo­ta­tion:

Risk assess­ments, except in the simplest of cir­cum­stances, are not designed for mak­ing judge­ments, but to illu­min­ate them.”

Richard Wilson and E. A. C. Crouch, Science, Volume 236, 1987, pp.267

Series NavigationThe Problem with ProbabilityTEPCO know about Fukushima before 11-​Mar-​11?”>What did TEPCO know about Fukushima before 11-​​Mar-​​11?

Author: Doug Nix

+DougNix is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Compliance InSight Consulting, Inc. (http://www.complianceinsight.ca) in Kitchener, Ontario, and is Lead Author and Managing Editor of the Machinery Safety 101 blog.

Doug's work includes teaching machinery risk assessment techniques privately and through Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Kitchener, Ontario, as well as providing technical services and training programs to clients related to risk assessment, industrial machinery safety, safety-related control system integration and reliability, laser safety and regulatory conformity.

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  • This has made my day. I wish all pot­s­nigs were this good.