Describing Risk - Variations on a Theme

May 2010

Inge, J.R. (2010), Environment and Safety Assurance Symposium 2010, Bristol, UK.


Risk assessment is a fundamental part of safety management but one that generates a huge amount of debate. There are many equally valid, but different, ways of assessing and presenting information about risk. This paper looks at the basics of what we are trying to achieve and highlights some of the variables in the process. It also examines the potential for conflict between various drivers for optimisation when considering risk management from different viewpoints. It also introduces the concept of notional expected loss as a potential mechanism for comparing risks between projects and providing a valid description of an organisation's safety risk level.