Department of the Interior, Risk Assessment System (RAS)
Department of the Interior Guidelines for Prioritizing and Correcting Health and Safety Deficiencies
These guidelines provide a Department wide Risk Assessment System (RAS) for prioritizing the correction of health and safety deficiencies. The RAS provides managers with a methodology for identifying hazardous conditions that warrant immediate action and those that can be addressed in the future.
Risk Assessment System
The RAS ranks health and safety hazards using Risk Assessment Codes (RAC). The RAC considers the hazard severity, the probability of occurrence, and the number of people exposed or the potential loss in the event of a failure.
Risk Assessment System Matrix
The SEVERITY CODE in the risk assessment system matrix describes the most serious type of injury or illness that can reasonably be expected from the exposure to the hazard.
The PROBABILITY CODE in the risk assessment system matrix describes the likelihood that a condition related hazard will occur. Relevant factors to consider include:
A higher Probability Code could be used if the hazard has the potential to expose a large number of individuals, the hazard is found throughout the facility, or the hazard can cause widespread interruption of normal operations. A higher Probability Code should also be used when the frequency of exposure to the hazard, or duration of exposure, increases.
Separating employees or the public from the point of danger through the use of fencing, barricades, etc can reduce the probability code. Hazard controls that do not require employee or public interactions are preferable to those that require user actions, and can also result in a lower probability code.
The Risk Assessment System provides management across the Department with full and accurate health and safety risk ranking information in order to make informed decisions concerning hazard control. Using the RAS also provides decision-makers with a consistent and defensible approach to prioritizing health and safety hazard abatement efforts among the many competing resource demands and priorities.