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Making Risk Decisions – “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Christian Lawlor and AFSEC RM Fundamental Training
  • 108th Wing Safety

One of the key principles of risk management is making risk decisions at the appropriate level. So, what does that mean to you as a 108th Wing member?


First, anyone can make a risk decision...we do it every day. The success of the mission or activity must be considered when you make decisions about taking risk.


Second, the appropriate level of authority for decision-making lies with the person who can eliminate or minimize the hazard, implement controls to reduce the risk, accept the risk, or abandon the mission or activity.


Making the risk decision at the appropriate level establishes clear accountability and places the responsibility on the decision maker to decide, “Is the assumed risk worth the outcome?”


You must always know when to elevate a risk decision to a higher authority or when to seek advice before making a high-risk decision.


If no higher authority is available (as is an off-duty activity) and a decision must be made immediately, seek advice and reassess the current situation to see if there are other options.