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

Doug Nix is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Compliance InSight Consulting, Inc. ( in Kitchener, Ontario, and is Lead Author and Senior 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. For more see Doug's LinkedIn profile.