Defining Acceptable Risk

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The stated primary purpose of Z10 is to reduce the risk of occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. As noted in the course textbook, zero risk is not likely to be achievable, so acceptable risk levels must be defined. What about a goal of zero injuries? Is that achievable? How does "acceptable" risk affect injury reduction goals? Defining acceptable risk is difficult because the degree to which defining 'acceptable' is situational. The level of occupational risk acceptable for someone who is a professional auto racer is different from an acceptable level of risk for someone who is a teacher. Calculating risk involves determining the probability and severity of likely safety incidents (Manuele 101). However, the degree of toleration of such risks will depend on the organizational culture of the institution (a fitness company might be more tolerant of the risks of taking employees on a mountain-climbing 'bonding' expedition than an accounting firm) and also its location (international firms are aware of the fact that certain areas of the world are more dangerous than others). However, regardless of the organizational culture, it is the responsibility of the safety professional to reinforce the message that safety is an important and valuable consideration that employers must take proactive steps to ensure. Managers must incorporate the principles of safety into the organization's vision, values, rules, and directives (Manuele 80-81). Z10 defines acceptable risk in
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