Risk Perception

Definition

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.
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