#3 - The Third Dimension Of Risk Assessment

This article explores the importance of incorporating human factors into all risk assessments. It also begins to explain the counter-intuitive nature of serious injury causation.

In the last paradigm shift, “3 Sources of Unexpected Events”, we learned that there are three main sources: the equipment doing something unexpectedly, someone else doing something unexpectedly or you (me) doing something unexpectedly ourselves. We used a reliable database—what has actually happened to us. We built our own personal risk pyramids. This gave us more than just numbers. It also got us thinking about the source of the unexpected event in our own serious injuries.

The conclusion was that over 95% (97-99% in most cases), the unexpected event was in the “self-area”. So, for this next paradigm shift, let’s go back to that reliable database (what’s actually happened to you), and ask you to think about the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done. It could have been skydiving, scuba diving with sharks, driving over 100 mph (160 km/h), etc. But think of the instance, not just a general category like driving or riding your bike—more like when you were riding your bike down the steepest hill, going the fastest you’ve ever gone on your motorcycle or in your car…

Okay, now for the easy part: just think of your worst injury or your two worst injuries. And then, the last question: do you have a match? Does your most dangerous thing equal your worst injury? Does your second most dangerous thing equal your second worst injury? What about the third most dangerous thing, and so on.

Figure #1

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