When people assess a workplace risk it is not unusual to find that there is a variation in how each person perceives the risk. This difference in perception can result in different conclusions on how likely it is that an injury or illness will result from a hazard. Variations in risk perception can occur from things such as;
incorrect or insufficient information
previous trouble-free or unpleasant experience with this hazard
the culture of their workplace or some other group they belong to
publicity or the number of media reports about this hazard
So be sure you have reliable data about this hazard by:
1. Considering and listing any factors that could contribute to the risk, eg.
length of time and frequency that persons are exposed to the risk
the work premises & environment
employee capability, skill, experience, and age
the system of work that is used
range of reasonably foreseeable conditions such as weather and staffing levels.
2. Reviewing relevant health & safety information about this hazard from an authoritative source eg.
Safety Alert or Material Safety Data Sheet
Code of Practice or Australian Standard
statistics on health & environmental monitoring
statistics on previous injuries, illness, and dangerous incidents.
3. Consulting with anyone involved with the hazard.
Now that you have reliable data;
Decide how likely it is that someone will be injured or made ill.