Risk perception or risk consciousness can be defined as the knowledge and understanding of the risks associated with a task and the related consequences in the given environment (e.g. the equipment / safety nets / automation).
Practitioners that comprehend the safety significance of their tasks and the consequences of taking risks for others are:
Less likely to deviate from the procedures and working practices.
More likely to take more care over their actions.
However, it is also important to understand the effect of automation on risk. Staff may use automation as a ‘crutch’ resulting in more risk being taken not less. Understanding the risks can also encourage staff to ‘speak up’ about safety and having a positive attitude to rules and regulations, and an understanding about the negative impact of procedural non-compliance.
Individual positive attitudes can:
Encourage safe working practices and adherence to procedures.
Encourage staff to report safety issues or areas of concern.