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Risk management industry standard
  • The AASP Risk Management technical report offers expert guidance and tools to help safety professionals understand, assess, and manage risk in the workplace.

A technical report published by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) provides safety professionals with techniques and implementation strategies to combat risk and better protect workers. ASSP TR-31010-2020 Risk Management – Techniques for Safety Practitioners is designed to assist safety practitioners and company decision-makers in understanding, assessing, and managing risk so organizations can achieve their business objectives.

The technical report provides expert guidance on the selection, modification, combination, and application of 50 risk management techniques to help improve the way risk and uncertainty are managed. It includes basic techniques for industry newcomers and complex methods for seasoned safety professionals. The safety resource explains the fundamentals of risk assessment and risk treatment and covers prevention-through-design practices that are applicable throughout the life cycle of a system. Safety professionals can apply the techniques to a range of occupational settings, situations, and operational stages of a business.

Analysis tools

Examples of some of the 50 tools covered by the ASSP Technical Report include:

  • ALARP – Getting to a risk level that is “as low as reasonably practicable” by classifying risks into specific categories.
  • Risk Hierarchy – A comprehensive portfolio of risks organized by type.
  • Causal Mapping – Identifies causality by mapping interactions between risks.
  • Ishikawa (Fishbone) Analysis/Cause and Effect Analysis – A team-based approach using a pictorial display to help consider all possible scenarios and causes of a specific effect.
  • Business Impact Analysis – A method to evaluate effects of incidents on critical business operations.

The Technical Report contains a table that provides information on the complexity of each of the 50 tools, along with guidance on how each may or may not apply to different situations a safety professional might encounter. For example, ALARP is a medium complexity tool strongly applicable to determining risk context, as well as for risk evaluation. However, it is not very applicable to risk analysis. On the other hand, Risk Hierarchy is low complexity and strongly applicable to communicating risk, but not as applicable to analysis.

Safety professionals don’t have to learn all 50 tools at once. To start out, the professional should choose about five tools for communicating with the next level manager. As safety professionals make progress and get invited to decision-makers’ meetings, they go back to the Technical Report and learn more. Then, next time, they’re part of the solution. Eventually, as safety professionals get into upper-level safety and start communicating with the CEO, there are tools in the report to help, focusing on enterprise-wide risk management.