Evaluating Risk Mitigation Options

Evaluating Risk Mitigation Options

Risk Mitigation Checklist

This example checklist has been extracted from ICAO Doc 9859 - Safety Management Manual (1st Edition), Chapter 5, Paragraph 5.7.4.

Each proposed risk mitigation option should be examined from the following perspectives:


Will it reduce or eliminate the identified risks? To what extent do alternatives mitigate the risks? Effectiveness can be viewed as being somewhere along a continuum, as follows:

  • Level One (Engineering actions): The safety action eliminates the risk, for example, by providing interlocks to prevent thrust reverser activation in flight;
  • Level Two (Control actions): The safety action accepts the risk but adjusts the system to mitigate the risk by reducing it to a manageable level, for example, by imposing more restrictive operating conditions; and
  • Level Three (Personnel actions): The safety action taken accepts that the hazard can neither be eliminated (Level One) nor controlled (Level Two), so personnel must be taught how to cope with it, for example, by adding a warning, a revised checklist and extra training.


Do the perceived benefits of the option outweigh the costs? Will the potential gains be proportional to the impact of the change required?


Is it doable and appropriate in terms of available technology, financial feasibility, administrative feasibility, governing legislation and regulations, political will, etc.?


Can the risk mitigation measure withstand critical scrutiny from all stakeholders (employees, managers, stockholders/State administrations, etc.)?

Acceptability to each stakeholder.

How much buy-in (or resistance) from stakeholders can be expected? (Discussions with stakeholders during the risk assessment phase may indicate their preferred risk mitigation option.)


If new rules (Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), regulations, etc.) are implemented, are they enforceable?


Will the measure withstand the test of time? Will it be of temporary benefit or will it have long-term utility?

Residual risks.

After the risk mitigation measure is implemented, what will be the residual risks relative to the original hazard? What is the ability to mitigate any residual risks?

New problems.

What new problems or new (perhaps worse) risks will be introduced by the proposed change?


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