Risk Management Cartoon
Any kind of change generates a risk of some kind. If change is happening all around us and pretty much all of the time, we may consequently be faced with literally thousands of risks every day – enough to make some people want to never even get out of bed in the morning! Of course, this is to present the “negative consequences” view of risk or when the risk poses a threat to a plan, project or forward course of action. What many people forget is that risk also can have positive outcomes or consequences. Hence, risk management is about finding “the right balance” between enough risk and reward, and to do this we need to try to be more prepared for what might happen and engage in more formal risk assessment.
If risk management is about being more prepared for possible future events or even surprises that life and work brings, what should risk assessment be all about (the activity in which we should probably all engage much more than we do)? Risk assessment can be said to be nothing more than the careful examination of what could cause harm to people or things so that an evaluation of whether enough precautions have been taken to reduce the overall risks involved can be made. Risk assessment as a process therefore revolves around the formal appraisal of hazards in the workplace which have the potential for harm to life, health or property.