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.