Sensible risk management

The Department of Biology aims to promote a sensible approach to risk management based on the principles listed below. This reflects the approach of the Health & Safety Executive, an organisation that promotes a risk management style which focusses on 'practical steps to protect people from real harm and not bureaucratic back covering'.

Principles of sensible risk management:

  • adopt a pragmatic approach which encourages risks to be managed in a sensible, responsible and proportionate manner in line with all relevant regulatory requirements
  • focus on the effective management of real risks- including those that are most likely to cause serious harm and those which are likely to happen more frequently
  • promote a system that focuses on practical steps to protect people, not paperwork for its own sake
  • application of careful judgement to ensure appropriate application of regulatory requirements
  • promote a safety management system that encourages those responsible for generating the hazards to take ownership and management of the hazards
  • effectively engaging with the very people we rely on to make informed, reasoned judgements on safety matters
  • operate a blame free safety culture which encourages a process of continual improvement
  • discourage a management style that, a) primarily focusses on bureaucratic back covering which can generate an atmosphere of paranoia, and b) one that discourages honesty and openness on safety issues
  • ensure that the level of risk to an individual’s health and safety that results from working for the Department of Biology is a minor fraction of the overall risk associated with that person's lifestyle

David Nelson