Safety risk assessment??


Thread Starter

Tom Bullock

Suppose a company performs a formal risk assessment and a safety problem is identified, but deemed too expensive to fix. Someone gets hurt and the documentation shows that the company was aware of the problem. This seems like a field day for the attorneys. Is the company better advised not to do a formal documented risk assessment and simply correct the obvious safety problems?

Bob Peterson

I would suggest this. if a company knows there is an obvious safety problem they need to work to fix it, regardless of how they came to determine the problem.

Formal risk assessments don't create new safety hazards that didn't previously exist. They are just one tool to help identify potential problems.

The legal issues are not something that should be ignored but while now and then the legal system does create millionaires out of people who spill coffee on themselves, most of the time it works reasonably well, if in an uneven way.


Bruce Durdle

Check out the ALARP** principle - this indicates that there is formal recognition of the need to match the actual cost of remedial action against the likely expected costs of failure. There are recommendations (which as far as I know are formally and legally recognised in Europe) as to the expected fatality rates which are deemed to be "tolerable" and do not require remedial action - (also those where action is essential).

**ALARP - as low as reasonably practicable. Doesn't mean the lawyers won't make a mint - they'll spend days (and M$) debating "reasonably"