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Courtenell Pty Ltd

as Trustee for the Vowles Family Trust

WHS Training Specialists, Sydney, Australia  

train@courtenell.com.au ~ PO Box 622 Broadway NSW 2007

ABN: 42164393628 ~ ACN: 050109281

Risk Perception and Risk Assessment

This publication provides general information about WHS. It is not a legal opinion and does not

represent a comprehensive statement of the law to be applied to a particular problem.

 Brought to you by Courtenell Pty Ltd, Work Health & Safety Training Specialists.

ABN 42164393628 ~ Fax : 02 9516 3644 ~ Email : train@courtenell.com.au ~ Website : www.courtenell.com.au

Phone : 02 9516 1499 ~ If you need any more information, you can contact us by phone, email or by fax anytime.

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Risk Perception & Risk Assessment


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.

Decide how severe the injury or illness could be.


(use a risk assessment matrix)

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