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OHS risk and decision-making
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by C Bofinger, J Hayes, Christopher Bearman, D Viner
Risk management is part of organisational decision-making with poor decision-making about risk being a factor in workplace fatality, injury, disease and ill-health. Generalist Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) professionals can influence decision-makers to make informed choices about risk. To do so they need to understand the nature of risk and its inherent uncertainty and how decisions are made in organisations and by individuals, and the factors influencing such decisions. This chapter examines decision-making theory, types of organisational decisions and factors influencing decisions about risk. It considers risk communication, legal and ethical issues, and the limitations of risk assessments. The chapter concludes with an examination of the role of the OHS professional in influencing risk-based decision-making, and presentation of a model to inform OHS professional practice.