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  • Julian Talbot

Why do people do risk assessments? Is it just compliance?

Risk assessments are performed to identify potential hazards and evaluate the likelihood of those hazards resulting in harm. This information is then used to make informed decisions about mitigating or eliminating those risks.

There are several reasons why people do risk assessments; some of the common reasons include the following:

  1. Compliance: Many organizations are required by law to conduct risk assessments to comply with regulations and standards related to health and safety, such as OSHA, ISO, or HIPAA.

  2. Liability: Conducting risk assessments can help organizations identify potential liabilities and take steps to mitigate those risks. For example, an organization may conduct a risk assessment to identify potential hazards related to chemical spills or employee injuries, which could lead to legal action.

  3. Risk Management: Risk assessments are a key tool in risk management, which is the process of identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing risks to an organization and taking appropriate actions to mitigate or eliminate them.

  4. Business Continuity: Risk assessments help organizations identify potential risks that could disrupt business operations, such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or supply chain disruptions. By identifying these risks and developing plans to mitigate them, organizations can minimize the impact of disruptions and maintain the continuity of operations.

  5. Cost savings: By identifying and mitigating risks, organizations can reduce the likelihood of incidents occurring, leading to cost savings from reduced liability claims, employee injuries, and lost productivity.

In summary, risk assessments are performed to identify potential hazards, evaluate the likelihood of those hazards resulting in harm, and take appropriate actions to mitigate or eliminate those risks. This can be done for compliance, liability, risk management, business continuity, and cost savings.


If you're in a situation where you need to do a risk assessment but are finding it daunting, I've been working with a few friends for a couple of years on automating the activity of risk assessments.


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