the process of risk identification. analysis. and evaluation.
- The overall process of identifying all the risks to and from an activity and assessing the potential impact of each risk.
- The determination of the potential impact of an individual risk by measuring or otherwise assessing both the likelihood that it will occur and the impact if it should occur, and then combining the result according to an agreed rule to give a single measure of potential impact.
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Risk assessment is the determination of quantitative or qualitative estimate of risk related to a well-defined situation and a recognized threat (also called hazard). Quantitative risk assessment requires calculations of two components of risk (R): the magnitude of the potential loss (L), and the probability (p) that the loss will occur. An acceptable risk is a risk that is understood and tolerated usually because the cost or difficulty of implementing an effective countermeasure for the associated vulnerability exceeds the expectation of loss. "Health risk assessment" includes variations, such as risk as the type and severity of response, with or without a probabilistic context.
In all types of engineering of complex systems sophisticated risk assessments are often made within safety engineering and reliability engineering when it concerns threats to life, environment or machine functioning. The nuclear, aerospace, oil, rail and military industries have a long history of dealing with risk assessment. Also, medical, hospital, social service and food industries control risks and perform risk assessments on a continual basis. Methods for assessment of risk may differ between industries and whether it pertains to general financial decisions or environmental, ecological, or public health risk assessment.