Risk Management Defined:
Risk Management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling risks arising from operational factors and making decisions that balance risk cost with mission benefits.
If someone asks, “What do you do for a living?”, we answer with the appropriate response but really, Risk Management is what we do every day. Risk Management is what our real job is. When we say “our job”, that means all of us. Everything we do has an element of risk. Driving to work or the store, actually doing whatever our occupation is, even when we are doing something fun like boating, fishing, four wheeling, amusement parks, climbing mountains, yard work, honey-do projects, all contain an element of risk. We do, or we should do, a risk management exercise for things we are doing every day. What is it that I’m doing and what is it that could affect my personal safety or the safety of others? What factors or personal decisions do I need to make to control the risks I may face? Let’s take going to the beach for the day with the family as an example. It’s a fun thing but there are risks. It takes a bit of planning. Gas for the vehicle, weather reports, surf conditions, food, sun screen, towels, etc. Just for fun, make a mental list of things that could be a risk or hazard just having fun on a day at the beach. I’m sure you can come up with a significant number of things, but do we just stay home and not go? No! life is meant to be lived. We cant live in a bubble. We need to work and play and to live life. We have more control over our personal lives but we should also be able to rely on our workplace to be actively identifying assessing and controling the risks we may face but it’s also up to us individually to make good decision.
Safety professionals are not the only ones responsible for our safety. Ultimately, risk management is up to all of us.