Risk Tolerance Pt. 2: Safety Brief - June 13, 2022


Monday – Cost of Non-Compliance

Risk tolerance can be reduced when the cost of non-compliance to a standard is increased. The reverse is also a factor. 

  • If the cost of compliance is high then more risk might be accepted and it could increase the cost of compliance on critical tasks.
  • Be selective and only apply this where the standard can always be applied.
  • Decrease the cost of compliance by removing barriers, cost or effort that prevent conformance to a standard.  
  • Increase the reward for compliance by incentives that can be used as positive motivator for compliance.

Tuesday – Confidence in Equipment

Risk tolerance increases when we have excessive confidence and trust in equipment.  We believe the integrity and capability of the equipment can prevent an incident.  But always remember to think what will happen if it does fail.

  • Know the limitations of the equipment such as ratings on lifting equipment, scaffolds, ladders and hand tools.  
  • Know the limitations of the engineering of the equipment and understand how shut downs and start up sequences work. 
  • Know the pressure ratings of the equipment both positively and negatively.

Wednesday – Confidence in the protection and rescue

Risk tolerance increases when we have excessive confidence in personal protective equipment and when we believe rescue is imminent. 

Personal protective equipment including: 

  • Hard hats fire resistant work wear, safety boots, gloves safety glasses
  • Breathing apparatus, detection equipment
  • Fall arrest equipment
  • Life jackets

The belief that rescue from a bad situation will be imminent and successful examples are:

  • Rescue from a confined space or high angle
  • Emergency response from internal or external resources
  • Self-rescue

Always remember that PPE is the LAST line of defense and should never to be used as a primary method of preventing incidents!

Thursday – Potential Profit or Gain from Actions

Risk Tolerance can increase when there are incentives like pay and rewards or other gains in place that encourage short cuts or faster ways to perform a task.  Individuals are prepared to take more risks when there might be personal benefit/gain from their actions. 

These can include:

  1. Working longer hours for the increased overtime and pay
  2. Compromising on personal safety equipment (ie, using worn out boots with no traction or a worn out tool)
  3. Working a second job on rest days
  4. Using short cuts to get the job done faster
  5. Responding to productivity bonuses

Friday – Role Models and Mentors Accepting Risk

The level of risk accepted by mentors and role models in a work group will impact the level of risk accepted by the group as a whole. A role model’s behavior and the way they do a task will be viewed by others as the acceptable way of doing a task and the role model’s method can often be viewed as an acceptable level of risk.  It’s important to know who the role models are in a work group and what their level of risk tolerance is.

Erosion of standard occurs when role models accept risk and then others follow their example. 

Always ask yourself am I setting the right example?


Tags: safety topic , Safety Brief , Risk ,

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