During the risk assessment process, each risk is evaluated twice. Once before and once after risk reducing actions have been put in place. In this way a comparison can be made and weak areas in the project plan identified.
There are different types of risk reducing actions such as ‘physical’ and ‘non-physical’ actions. These will affect the re-evaluation in different ways. For example, take an offshore installation. A risk assessment highlights the risk of dropping a load on a submerged pipeline during a crane operation. There are two types of action, or mitigation, that can be taken:
- The oilrig could move off site to perform the crane operation (a physical action).
- A new procedure could be written to make sure there are no errors during the lift and therefore no need to move off site (non-physical mitigation).
Both actions can aid in reducing the Risk Factor of the risk, but the non-physical action (in this case) cannot reduce any of the Impact Levels, it can only reduce the likelihood of the risk occurring. By writing a procedure to lessen the probability of the risk happening, you are not actually changing the impact if the risk does occur! In the case of the physical action, by moving the rig away from the pipeline, even if the risk still occurs the impacts are far less.