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Risk Matrix Calculations – Severity, Probability, and Risk Assessment

Posted by admin on April 23, 2018
   

Safety Professionals use a risk matrix to assess the various risks of hazards (and incidents), often during a job hazard analysis. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively and reduce workplace incidents. Check out the three components of the risk matrix; severity, probability, and risk assessment that we utilize in the IndustrySafe software below.

You can also download our Risk Matrix Calculation Guide: 

Download our Risk Matrix Guide

1. Severity

Severity is the amount of damage or harm a hazard could create and it is often ranked on a four point scale as follows:

  • Catastrophic - 4 Operating conditions are such that human error, environment, design deficiencies, element, subsystem or component failure, or procedural deficiencies may commonly cause death or major system loss, thereby requiring immediate cessation of the unsafe activity or operation.
  • Critical - 3 Operating conditions are such that human error, environment, design deficiencies, element, subsystem or component failure or procedural deficiencies may commonly cause severe injury or illness or major system damage thereby requiring immediate corrective action.
  •  Marginal - 2 Operating conditions may commonly cause minor injury or illness or minor systems damage such that human error, environment, design deficiencies, subsystem or component failure or procedural deficiencies can be counteracted or controlled without severe injury, illness or major system damage.
  •  Negligible - 1 Operating conditions are such that personnel error, environment, design deficiencies, subsystem or component failure or procedural deficiencies will result in no, or less than minor, illness, injury or system damage.

2. Probability

Probability is the likelihood of the hazard occurring and it is often ranked on a five point scale:

  • Frequent - 5 Likely to occur often in the life of an item
  • Probable - 4 Will occur several times in the life of an item
  • Occasional - 3 Likely to occur some time in the life of an item.
  • Remote - 2  Unlikely but possible to occur in the life of an item.
  • Improbable - 1 So unlikely, it can be assumed occurrence may not be experienced.

Risk matrices come in many shapes and sizes. For more information on how to build a risk matrix that's right for your project, see our more detailed guide.

Levels of a Risk Matrix

3. Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment –The Risk Assessment Values are determined by multiplying the scores for the Probability and Severity values together. The following chart displays the default risk assessment values:

5x4 risk matrix

 Download our Risk Matrix Guide

Setting Control Measures for Risk Mitigation

After you’ve evaluated the risks of a project, you can prioritize which risk controls to implement first.

All risk mitigation activities should be clearly defined; objective, not subjective; and have specific, measurable outcomes.

Hazard identification and risk management should be processes of continuous improvement. Your organization’s risks may change over time, so you should periodically review and update your risk matrix.

Risk management tools can save health and safety professionals valuable time and resources.

Check out our hazards product information page to learn more how the IndustrySafe software can assist you in tracking, reporting and analyzing your risks.

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Tags: Safety Management

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