Usually, the higher the risk level, the more serious the risk is and the more likely you’ll need to take action. To make it easier to decide on the urgency of the action, you can allocate an action level of risk.
This way of estimating and evaluating risk is called the ‘risk matrix’ approach – it’s a commonly used tool.
We will discuss the different ways of reducing risk that are available to you in future topics.
It’s important to remember that there’s never a zero risk rating because there’s always a chance of something happening. Also, once you’ve done something to reduce the risk, you’ll need to estimate and evaluate the risk again to see whether you’ve done enough.
You can also use a five-point scale to estimate likelihood and consequence, with five descriptions for likelihood and five for consequence.
2 – Unlikely – there’s a 1 in 100,000 chance of the hazardous event happening
3 – Possible – there’s a 1 in 10,000 chance of the hazardous event happening
4 – Very Likely – there is a 1 in a 1,000 chance of the hazardous event happening
5 – Almost Certain – there’s a 1 in 100 chance of the hazardous event happening.
In Great Britain in 2014/15 an estimated 23.3 million days were lost due to work-related ill health and 4.1 million due to workplace injuries. On average, each person suffering took around 15 days off work (HSE).