5 Key Elements of the Risk Management Process

Risk Management Process

The Risk Management Process is a laid down step adopted to prevent or mitigate risk. This article will highlight 5 Key Elements of the Risk Management Process.

What is risk:

Risk is an uncertain event or condition in which if it occurs could affect a process either negatively or positively. The risk management process is an integral part of the health and safety management system. It helps to put projects in the right health and safety perspective.

A good risk management process will:

  1. Help prevent identified risk
  2. Mitigate the effect of the risk.
  3. Guide on the preparation of a contingency plan to react to the risk.

Steps in the Risk Management Process

  1. Identify the Risk:

Before any risk can be managed, it must first be identified. Risk identification is a complex process that cannot be performed by one person. Risk identification is not also a static process. It is a progressive process that could be reviewed as the project progresses.

How to identify risk

  • Get ideas from all members of the project team. Since risk identification is very broad, it needs ideas from all facets of the project. These include the project manager, site manager, operational manager, health and safety manager, site supervisors, heads of units, contractors, etc.
  • No idea should be discarded. All ideas should be well assessed.
  • Necessary documents should be consulted. Documents like: Project health and safety plan, Project job schedule, National/international legislations, Environmental plan, Archive of incidents preceding the project, etc.

Note that personnel expertise and experience are very indispensable tools in risk identification.

  1. Analyze the Risk:

After identifying the risks, all risks should be properly analyzed. Risk analysis results will help in risk prioritization and in setting up a control plan for effective management. Risk analysis makes use of the probability and severity of occurrence. Full detail of risk analysis is captured in “Risk assessment”.

  1. Evaluate the Risk:

Risk evaluation is a critical opinion deduced from the result of the risk analysis. It is at this point that risk priority can be set. Risks are rated based on the probability of its occurrence and its severity. Risks with high probability and high severity are classified as HIGH RISKS, while risks with low probability and low severity are classified as LOW RISKS.

  1. Manage Risk :

At this point, you will have to check the control measures that are already in place. Some controls may need to be changed, while others may just need to be improved upon.

Based on the type of risk and its priority, different kinds of control could be relevant,


  • Elimination
  • Substitution
  • Engineering control
  • Administrative control
  • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  1. Monitor and Review:

As I mentioned earlier, the risk management process is progressive. It can be updated if new risks are identified, if the job plan changes, and/or if there is a change in any document used in the risk management process initially. So it is needful that the progress of the job be monitored closely, and updates made where necessary.


In summary, the risk management process should be done before the commencement of any project. It should be done by personnel with a good level of experience and expertise in their different areas of engagement.

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