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Unit 3 Env Practice

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What is Risk?

Taking risks means different things to different people. We take risks all the time. Taking a risk originally meant risking your health. People who climbed mountains or drove fast took risks. This concept was then applied to people taking risks with money - investors and gamblers.

Taking risks entails excitement and adventure. Embracing risk is seen as the way to create wealth in a modern economy. "Risk" can now apply to almost anything, including risk of prosecution or failure.

The Health and Safety Executive define risk as the "likelihood of the hazard's potential being realised". A hazard is something with potential to cause harm.

Check out:
WTO website

Almost anything can be a hazard, which may or may not become a risk. Risk is a measure of the potential for release of that inherent harm.

'Risk in a Runaway World'

Graphic: PopUpFact

Risk is the converse of safety. Safety is freedom from risk Yet everything we do has an element of risk. Risk crops up everywhere. There is the risk of being killed on the roads, the risk of loosing your job, the risk of getting a disease from work or the risk of loosing investments. Can we measure these risks?

Is life a Lottery?
Graphic: PopUpFact

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2002 Edition