Principles of risk assessment

Risk refers to the chance of an unwanted event.  

RISK=Severity of hazard x Probability of occurrence
R = S x P


Risks in declining order:

  • loss of life
  • permanent disability
  • non-permanent damage
  • minor injury
  • pain/shock
  • financial loss

The severity of a hazard and the probability of its occurrence affect the number of people who are exposed to a risk.


Tips for assessing risks

  • Decide what risks should be assessed. Document risks together with reasons and consequences.
  • Brainstorming is useful in assessing risks.
  • Consider regular and non-regular use of the good or service.
  • Also consider assembly and disassembly of the product and younger-than-intended users.
  • Many services involve several risks. Assess their combined effect and anticipate the worst possible scenario.
  • Plan a quality control system and write down procedures.
  • Ensure that defective batches can be tracked if necessary. One was it to use special batch identification codes.
  • Test goods before they are put on sale. Many product categories are covered by standards which define minimum safety requirements.