Risk Assessment

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An essay analyzing risk in the public services|
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Jasmine Pritchard|
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Introduction
This essay will critically analyze what the concepts of risk and the perceptions of risk are. These concepts will then be applied to my personal experiences of risk during a typical kayaking exercise. This essay will also study the ideas of perceived risk and actual risk and their applications to the public services sector, more specifically the police. While studying the areas of perceived risk and actual risk in the police the essay will focus mainly on the importance of risk assessment and risk management in the work place.

Risk is a concept that we face every day during day to day life. Risk is an eventuality that we subconsciously analyze every day before embarking on our day to day business. Barton (2011) talks of when humans started on this planet survived by depending upon skill and wit to avoid risk during activities such as hunting, foraging and living together in close kit ‘packs’. This was very high risk sometimes but as the species evolved humans have become more intelligent and more vigilant so risk became less. Some people argue that though risk has become a less frequent idea the risks themselves become more serious. For example car accidents are less frequent but more serious that injuries you may gain through walking or running. Risk its self is subjective to the individual. One person may something is very risky while the other would perceive the risk as relatively minor. Lyng (1990) talks about how many people take part in risk taking activities for enjoyment reasons. For example there is a relatively large section of society whoenjoy adventruos activities. These are often full of risk for example mountainerring can result in many injuries just as broken limbs, sprains and cuts. Hansson (2004) explains the concept of risk as being an unwanted event of which may or may not occur due to the participation in a certain activity. He also describes risk as an unwnated event and the probability of that event happening. These concepts can be easily appiled to my personal experiences of risk during kayaking. State of Victoria (2011) explains that there are many risks to kayaking. these could include incidents such as: sprains, pulled musclues, bumps, cuts and scrapes such as being hit by kayaks, debris or paddels in the water, heat stress, dehydration, sunburn, hypothermia and drowning. These are all risks that we had to evaluate before deciding to go kayaking. This shows that we took into account factors like perceived risk, for example drowning could be perceived as a serious risk to someone who can not swim, and actual risk, for example there was a very real actual risk of bumps and scrapes occuring during the activities. During the activities i wrote a reflective diary of my time kayaking . This jornanl includes things like how i felt, what i thought and my aims during the activites. The idea of risk affected my decition making during the exercise because i had become more aware of the risks associated with kayaking. This meant that i was more cautious and wary during the activities. Another example of how risk and risk taking affected my experience kayaking was it increased my enjoyment. This was due to an increase in adrenaline which releases endorphines. Hawks (1992) claims that endorphines can stimluate pleasure and enjoyment due to the endorphines stimulating the pleasure centres of the brain. This could also work in reverse as adrenaline also hightens the blood pressure and heart rate causing the person to feel paniced and helpless as aposed to excited and thrilled by the experience. Lyng (1990) States that risk taking can be volutery and has become a sizable attraction to may people all across america. A phenomina which is also largely evident in the united kingdom today. During adveture activities health and safety are vitall important for the well being and enjoyment of the team...
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