Risk assessment

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The risk assessment ( English risk assessment is) as part of the risk management of companies , the assessment of all existing risks .


Risk management includes risk assessment, risk management and risk communication , with risk assessment being subdivided into the sub-areas of risk identification , risk analysis and risk assessment . Complete risk perception is the prerequisite for risk being recognized and discovered at all. The problem arises here that different risk carriers perceive the same risk differently or not at all. If the risk is perceived incorrectly as selective perception , only certain risks are perceived, but other existing risks are ignored. Inadequate risk perception has a negative effect on the subsequent phases of risk management.

Legal issues

Relevant directives (e.g. Machinery Directive 2006/42 / EC , Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23 / EC ) and corresponding laws implemented in national law (e.g. Product Safety Act ) explicitly require the implementation of a risk assessment (formerly a hazard analysis) and the associated risk reduction .

The basic standard (safety of machines) provides general design principles and definitions of terms and describes the risk assessment procedure in detail. In this context, machine safety means that machines can perform their intended functions in their respective phases of life and that the risk has been sufficiently reduced. Ensuring the safety of machines is an iterative task of design.

Definition of terms

Risk assessment and hazard analysis

For reasons of internationalization, the term “hazard analysis” has been replaced by the term “risk assessment” in the current version of the Machinery Directive 2006/42 / EC . The term “hazard analysis” is also no longer used in the basic standard EN ISO 12100 (safety of machines). In the Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23 / EC, on the other hand, the “hazard analysis” is still the usual term for an iterative overall process for risk reduction . Accordingly, risk assessment and hazard analysis are terms used synonymously, which have only been terminologically rearranged through use in the respective standard. In terms of content, however, it is the same iterative procedure for risk reduction when making products available on the market.

Risk assessment

The risk assessment is a term that is used in various directives, ordinances and laws on occupational safety . Accordingly, the Industrial Safety Ordinance (BetrSichV), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (ArbSchG) and the Hazardous Substances Ordinance (GefStoffV) in particular require the implementation of a "risk assessment". All dangers that can arise in a workplace from the work equipment used are considered.

The most important difference between a risk assessment and a risk assessment is that the risk assessment relates to the same machine , for example , but must be carried out by the operator before the machine is commissioned. Risk assessment is an iterative process task of the manufacturer of the machine and is used for risk reduction prior to marketing . The risk assessment is therefore sensibly integrated into the development or construction process of the machine. If a company uses a machine, e.g. B. for own production, the risk assessment for this machine from the manufacturer's point of view and then the risk assessment from the operator's point of view must be carried out and documented.

Process flow

The process of risk assessment in the form of a flow chart

The risk assessment is preceded by the risk aggregation . The risk assessment adopts the results of this by classifying the risk into high, medium and low risk dimensions. The authors see risk assessment and risk assessment as synonyms, but the risk classification forms the interface between risk assessment and risk management . A classification is carried out by the ordinally scaled classification of the risks, as it is done in finance by asset and risk classes , ratings or credit scoring , also for non-banks .

The object of assessment is the risk that is assigned a value on an assessment dimension (risk classification). As a yardstick that serve business goals as profit maximization / cost recovery , economic security , risk capacity and liquidity . Taking these objectives and risk tolerance of risk carrier low and medium risks are reasonable, undue risk must risk management either avoided or, in particular reduced , diversified , offset or passed on to. If this does not succeed or only partially, a balance sheet risk provision must be made.

The risk assessment is followed by the risk assessment . The risk assessment immediately follows the risk assessment . In this phase of risk management, it is checked whether the risk for the defined hazards has been sufficiently reduced or not. If the risk under consideration has been sufficiently reduced, the overall risk management process ends. If the risk reduction is classified as insufficient, further considerations are made to reduce the risk. These considerations are not part of the overall process. Taking into account the changed risk, the process then starts again with risk identification.

Web links

Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), Risk Assessment Portal , (2020) , accessed on January 17, 2020

Individual evidence

  1. Robert Schmitt / Tilo Pfeifer, Quality Management: Strategies - Methods - Techniques , 2015, p. 363
  2. Nikolaus Raupp, The decision-making behavior of Japanese venture capital managers under the influence of risk perception in conjunction with other factors , 2012, p. 27
  3. Frank Romeike (Ed.), Success Factor Risk Management , 2004, p. 165
  4. Bruno Wiederkehr / Rita-Maria Züger, Risk Management System in Companies , 2010, p. 37 f.
  5. Jan Miksch, Security structures in PPP models from the perspective of the public sector, illustrated using the example of school building , 2007, p. 33