What is Risk?
Risk can be defined as “the effect of uncertainty on outcomes” (ISO 31000) or, alternatively, as “anything that can prevent an organization from achieving its objectives” (Kendall, 2017). Managing risk means taking responsibility and exploring uncertainty. Successfully addressing risk means making decisions that further an organization’s mission and goals. This framework is fundamental to ensuring effective quality management.
Hazards and threats are sources of risk. Hazards, which are situations with the potential to result in injuries, damage or harm, can be physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, psychological, political or social. Hazards can become threats if (and when) they are activated. For example, a virus (computer or biological) may be a hazard, but it only becomes a threat if you might be impacted by it. The likelihood and severity of that impact on a particular person, place or thing determines the risk.