A Fresh Look at Risk Assessment

A Fresh Look at Risk Assessment


Presentation Description

Ken Newby CRSP CSP ARM CRM, Owner and Senior Advisor, SafeTech Consulting Group Ltd.
Brenda Madley CRSP, Senior Advisor, SafeTech Consulting Group Ltd.

How do you solve first aids? How do you solve any range of severity outcomes? If you focus on solving first aids, are you really solving the hazards that are causing them? Is it possible outcome based measurements will almost never result in sustainable change?

What if safety professionals and employers focus instead on the behavioral direct causes (e.g. accessing work area, equipment use) regardless of the injury outcome? If we properly identify and categorize the hazard, we can organize front line supervision to recognize, address, and reduce frequency of reoccurrence. This means a better, consistent focus on the direct causes leading to the loss event. Safety professionals and employers can now focus on hazards and causal behaviors with high potential severity, and not based on actual harm.

This type of view towards hazard mitigation has three primary steps: 1) Identify and quantify the hazards. 2) Identify and identify the severities within the hazard group. And 3) Actions towards the frequencies you want to mitigate.

Risk is malleable. We can change it. What if the risk assessment matrix was adjusted so that Risk = Hazard x Frequency x Severity? If risk is malleable, perhaps we can challenge the concept of risk and the need to risk rank. Instead, if the hazard itself was identified and ranked for potential severity, front-line supervision and management can be driven to reduce the frequencies.

Learning Objectives

  • Challenge attendees to be critical of outcome based categorization.
  • Understand how appropriate categorization of hazards based on the direct causes is a more intuitive method to identify corrective measures.
  • Recognize how to promote consistent and replicable potential severity rankings.
  • Challenge the concept of risk and the need to quantify it.
  • Challenge the concept of risk ranking and replace it with proper hazard identifications, consistent severity ranking, and drive front-line supervision to reduce frequency (observation and inspection process).

Presenter Biography

Ken Newby, B.A., CSP, CRSP, ARM, CRM, is the Owner and Senior Safety Advisor at SafeTech Consulting Group, Ltd. in Edmonton, Alberta, a mid-size company with 75 safety advisors and 22 office staff. Ken graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration with an option in Finance.
Ken was first assigned safety duties in 1991 while working in Hawaii for a mid-sized pre-cast company. He has since performed safety management for residential housing, sewer and water infrastructure, high-rise construction, worker’s compensation insurance safety for high risk accounts, Century Link sports stadium in Seattle, airport security upgrades, and industrial and power-plant construction, upgrades and shut-downs.
Ken attained four safety designations while being an active member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASE) since 1995, and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) since 2003.

Ken has instructed courses in the Occupational Health and Safety Program at the University of Alberta, and n is currently the co-Chair for the Advisory Committee for Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Occupational Health and Safety Diploma Program. Ken has delivered topics on risk assessment at Hawaii’s Pac-Rim conference, Alaska’s Occupational Safety Summit, and at ASSE’s PDC in Dallas.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that photographs may be taken at this event and may be published on the CSSE Edmonton website and social media. By attending CSSE Edmonton Chapter events you are giving your consent for your photograph to be published by CSSE Edmonton Chapter.


June 21, 2016 at 11:30am - 1pm
Chateau Louis
11727 Kingsway NW
Edmonton, AB T5G 3A1
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