What is a risk assessment? It is a scientific and mathematical probability of the possible risk in certain activities. It is essentially a ‘what could happen?’ scenario using statistics from many different sources including animal behavior research, prior statistics, environmental issues including weather patterns and fault lines, along with many other sources to assess a scientific and mathematical value of the possibility that a person may be injured or killed performing certain activities.
There are different types of risk being assessed as well, from the voluntary activities such as driving a vehicle or skydiving where there is an inherent risk in the activity that is known before participating in such activity. The other is involuntary risk that deal mostly with such things as acts of god, though can sometimes involve things like toxic inhalation, something that was previously not consented to, or should we say not consented enough to accept the said risks.
WHAT IS A RISK ASSESSMENT - MAIN GOAL
When you drive a vehicle you know there is an inherent risk in the activity taking place but safety features of automobiles may reduce the risk of death and serious injury by a certain percentage which does matter in a risk assessment since the main goal is to determine possible injury or death to an individual and/or perhaps in some cases perhaps the risk of damage to property or possibility of loss to an investment, which can be the case for insurance companies. For life insurance a risk assessment may take into account certain health issues such as age, smoking, family health problems that may be genetic, etc. to determine if that person is insurable.
WHAT IS A RISK ASSESSMENT - FUNCTIONS
The individual assesses risk quite regularly and typically on a day to day basis. Just in driving down the freeway you are assessing the risk of perhaps driving faster or slower depending on traffic, or determining when to pass and how far away a trailing car may catch up to you. You constantly have to judge other cars speed and possibilities of if and when they might turn, stop, etc. and make your own risk assessment to determine the best actions to take. When you ask ‘what is a risk assessment?’ the answer is something that can take many forms not just the risk for human injury or death. There are even risk assessments for possible environmental damage or animal extinction based on several factors and probabilities.
After all the data has been analyzed it is used to create a probability of risk, whether this is on paper or in one’s head. A risk assessment can be used by any number of companies and organizations for different reasons from insurance coverage to plotting out a conservation effort for rainforests. The question ‘what is a risk assessment?’ can be answered, not quite so simply, with a scientific approach to the possibility of what might happen while taking all possible circumstances under consideration to determine the amount of risk possible mathematically.