AN INTRODUCTION TO MANAGING RISK FOR OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY
AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
Risk and uncertainty
As a society, as organisations and as individuals, we all live
with uncertain futures. Indeed, it's a key part of being human. We
all have things we want to achieve, opportunities we want to
exploit and changes we want to make. But we can never be completely
sure how things will turn out - risks in the real world, and risks
arising from our own actions (or inaction), if not effectively
managed, may stop us achieving our goals.
Sometimes these risks will lead to direct monetary loss, but
they can also lead to illness and injury, damage to the environment
and property, business failure, loss of employment or waste of
Conversely though, risk taking can also lead to achievement,
gain, happiness and progress. Risk has a distinct and substantial
upside (opportunity), as well as the more obvious downside
Risk management applies a systematic and rigorous approach to
understanding, analysing and responding to risk, with the aim of
making better, more informed decisions and increasing the
likelihood that we will achieve our objectives.
The greatest challenge, however, is to combine all of this with
a strong understanding of the behavioural and cultural aspects of
how we perceive, interpret, communicate and respond to risk.
Understanding and influencing why people behave as they do, what
incentivises them to act in a particular way and how decisions are
made is indeed an important skill.
Risk management and Occupational Safety and
Industry increasingly recognises that OSH professionals need a
broader appreciation of risk management.
ISO 45001:2018, released earlier this year, promotes a
'risk-based' approach to OSH and the UK's Health and Safety
Executive's three year strategy also supports this. In practice, a
'risk-based' approach means organisations proportionately managing
OSH according to the nature, frequency and severity of the risks
faced and the objectives and key processes of the
- 12:30 to 13:15: Presentation
- 13:15 to 13:30: Q&A