Assessing the Risks — Suggestions for a Consistent Semi-Quantified Approach

Tom Smith

ABSTRACT: Assessing the risks of an operation, the operation of a whole factory, or the consequences of firing a firework display has become a way of life. Much modern legislation, certainly in the UK, is based less on “prescription” and more on “goal setting”, which requires the risk creator to determine the nature of the risk and to allow him to control it adequately. Everyone involved in almost any activity, be it sport, driving, or managing a pyrotechnic production facility, has always assessed the risks—normally in their head and on the job. Modern legislation demands that these informal processes, accurate as they may have been, be documented, monitored and revised as appropriate, partly at least to “prove” in any post-accident enquiry that adequate steps had been taken to identify the particular circumstances that caused the accident. Failing to identify a particular risk is as negligent as failing to control a risk that had been identified.

Keywords: risk assessment, consequence, hazard management

Ref: JPyro, Issue 18, 2003, pp32-42

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