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

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Author: Doug Nix

+DougNix is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Compliance InSight Consulting, Inc. ( 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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