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Revealed: The three disadvantages of using a risk assessment matrix to assess risks

by , 07 March 2014
Thinking of using a risk assessment matrix to assess risks in your workplace? If so, make sure you take the following three disadvantages into account.

The drawbacks of using a risk assessment matrix to assess risks

Yesterday, we introduced you to a risk assessment matrix. We told you what it is and why you must consider using it to assess risks.

Now we're going to give you some of the disadvantages of using this approach because we want to help you make an informed decision.

The three limitations of using a risk assessment matrix are as follows:

While risk matrixes are a useful tool, they are not without flaws and are definitely not a panacea for all ills, says Jakeman Business Solutions.

The site says in the hands of the inexperienced, the biased or individuals with an agenda can generate misleading ratings:

  1. They can correctly and unambiguously compare only a small fraction of randomly selected pairs of hazards and can assign identical ratings to quantitatively different risks.
  2. They can mistakenly assign higher qualitative ratings to quantitatively smaller risks.
  3. Categorisations of severity can't be made objectively for uncertain consequences. Assessment of likelihood and consequence and resulting risk ratings require subjective interpretation and different users may obtain opposite ratings of the same quantitative risks.

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It's a legal requirement. You must identify hazards and assess risks in your company

Do you know how to compile a risk assessment?

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Should you not use a risk assessment matrix to assess risks?

You must be cautious when using a risk assessment matrix. This principle applies to everything you do.

A risk matrix is an invaluable tool if you want fast, effective and practical risk assessment processes but, you can't use this toll in isolation.

'Any assumptions or embedded judgments need to be clearly articulated and in particular, the risk description must be clearly defined and the likelihood and consequence descriptors need to be clearly articulated using a variety of parameters,' says Jakeman Business Solutions.

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