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Risk Assessment and Management for Safety Professionals

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What Is Risk Assessment?

Risk assessment is a function within occupational safety and health (OSH) risk management that focuses on identifying potential hazards. The goal is to identify hazards, then analyze and evaluate the risks they create.

What Is Risk Management?

Risk management in OSH is a formal process for identifying hazards, evaluating and analyzing risks associated with those hazards, then taking action to eliminate the hazards or control the risks that can’t be eliminated to minimize injury and illness potential. Risk management is a critical step in any organization’s efforts to proactively mitigate risk before an injury or catastrophe occurs.

Why Is Risk Important in Safety?

Risk is the main cause of uncertainty in any organization. As a safety professional, you can help your organization identify and manage risks before an incident happens.

While your organization must comply with regulations and reduce its injury rate, those metrics force a rear-view mirror perspective. Applying risk management principles can help you proactively reduce risk, advance safety and drive a return on investment from safety programs.

Core Risk-Related Competencies

Many core competencies of risk are defined and described in standards such as ANSI/ASSP Z10 and ANSI/ASSP/ISO 45001, which address OSH safety management systems. Additional details are outlined in ANSI/ASSP ISO 31000, Risk Management, and ANSI/ASSP Z590.3, Prevention Through Design.

To effectively manage risk as an OSH professional, you should have a keen understanding of the following processes:

   Principles of Risk Management

   Data Gathering

   Setting the Scope of a Risk Assessment Plan

   Conducting a Risk Assessment

   Treating Your Organizational Risks

By protecting workers and helping to achieve business objectives as an OSH professional, you can position yourself as a high-profile leader who makes a real difference.

Go Beyond Compliance

Stay at the forefront of continuously evolving risk assessment tools and methods with voluntary OSH consensus standards. Safety standards go beyond regulations and reflect recognized best practices in the United States and internationally.

The ISO 31000 standards establish a common language for risk management, outline principles and guidelines, and explain risk management techniques. They apply to a wide range of risk management activities, including strategies, decisions, operations, processes, functions, projects, products services and assets.

ANSI/ASSP/ISO 31000-2018, Risk Management - Guidelines

Gain insight on ways to direct decision-making to help your organization manage risk. Learn more

ANSI/ASSP/ISO/IEC 31010-2019, Risk Assessment Techniques

Learn how to select and apply the technique that best helps your organization best understand and address workplace risk. Learn more

ASSP TR-31010-2020 Technical Report: Risk Management - Techniques for Safety Practitioners

Get the latest guidance on how to select and apply techniques that help your organization assess and manage risk. Learn more

Learn More About Risk Management Standards

Risk Education and Training

Our instructors are experts who have real-world experience. We carefully review and confirm their credentials and teaching abilities to bring you the most up-to-date education available. Select from a variety of formats and topics for practical, accessible and immersive education on risk.

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Essential Risk Assessment Tools

Beginner 0-4 years | 1.4 CEUs
Develop a foundational understanding of essential risk assessment tools for identifying hazards, modifying risk assessment tools and applying risk reduction concepts.

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Prevention Through Design

Beginner 0-4 years | 1.4 CEUs
Learn how to incorporate prevention through design concepts into decision-making related to the design and redesign of work premises, tools, equipment, machinery, substances, and work processes.

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Risk Assessment

Intermediate 5-9 years | 2.1 CEUs
Risk assessment is a dynamic process that enables OSH professionals to proactively manage workplace risks. Learn about the three main areas of conducting a risk assessment: hazard identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation.

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Creating and Sustaining Effective Risk Assessment Teams

Intermediate 5-9 years | 0.5 CEUs
High-functioning safety risk assessment teams are at the heart of any effective risk management system, and risk management is most effective when all team members understand the risk assessment process.

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Risk-Based Incident Analysis

Intermediate 5-9 years | 0.5 CEUs
Risk-centric concepts, like hazard classification and the hierarchy of controls, can yield valuable insights into common weaknesses in your management system and risk assessment methodology.

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Enterprise Risk Management

Advanced 10+ years | 3.0 CEUs
Develop a solid knowledge of risk management initiatives that will help you reduce risk across your enterprise. Practice effective ways to apply risk management methods that impact your entire organization.

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President's Message

Read the ASSP president's thoughts on the safety profession.

ISO 45001 Standard

This game-changing standard provides a global foundation for worker safety.