“Risk perception reveals how much expert we are in its assessment.”
On job as well as in life we are exposed everyday to risks and unconsciously we assess them as real experts. Such personal assessment (“perceived risk”), affected by several factors like age, sex, sensorial faculty, instinct, stirrings, emotions, culture, education, conventions, training etc., turns into objective (“objective risk”) at workplace as requested by applicable safety laws and standards.
If criteria whom drive risk perception are subjective while workplace risks assessment criteria shall be objective, when the risk could be considered real? Researches prove that when an event is familiar, perceived risk and objective risk correspond; when the event is less recurring people tends to overestimate it; at last if the event is rare, tendency is to underestimate it.
Hard duty of safety professionals is ensuring that risks assessment reproduces company and its changes realistically. In other words, just like taking a dynamic picture. For this purpose, matching specialists analytic approach with workers non-analytic one can be a valid assessment method. Seeking help from risk exposed people, beyond working as a litmus paper, brings benefits like:
- participation of people involved or not involved in risks assessment
- experience sharing
- clearness of risks assessment process
- trust encouragement between management and workers
- wide vision of risk concept
- greater availability of risks’ information
It’s worth remembering that any kind of assessment can be affected by analysis and judgement mistakes. Moreover, working on human behavior, in order to get it effective, shall follow an effort on risk consciousness improvement to act on subconscious and motivational mechanisms which drive personal perception.
Attached herewith customizable and adoptable Risk Perception Tool for above-mentioned purposes in your company. Have a nice job!
See attached tool.