Risk: Relating to Outdoor and Adventure and the Public Services
This essay will start with the analysis of the concepts of risk and risk taking and how they apply to my experience of kayaking and decision making. It will also discuss how I would ensure the health and safety of a group when taking part in an adventure activity while including an example of a risk assessment and an explanation of the process of a risk assessment. It will then discuss what impact perceived risk, real risk, and risk taking has on a public service employee, how they come to face these risks and what training enables them to take risk. I will then conclude the essay stating what I have achieved in the essay and how it has improved my knowledge and understanding, and my self-awareness. My aim of doing this essay is to understand risk fully and its different concepts and how it can apply to a public service.
Risk and its Concepts
This part of the essay will discuss what the definition of risk is, why people choose to take risks, and some of the concepts of risk and relating them to my experiences of kayaking. Kaplan, S, and Garrick, B. J (2006) say that risk is the notion of uncertainty while there being a likelihood of some kind of loss or damage and that risk is simply the conversion of a hazard into the delivery of a loss of damage. They say risk can be reduced through safeguards and use an example of being out in the ocean, which is a hazard, and instead of crossing it in a rowboat, which would be a high risk; you can cross it in a liner to reduce that risk. According to the Oxford English Dictionary the definition of risk is ‘a situation involving exposure to danger’. Both definitions are similar but Kaplan and Garrick’s is more detailed by explaining that hazards are the source of the risk. High risk is when the probability and frequency of a hazard delivering a serious kind of loss or damage is high. Although there are high possibilities of a serious consequence some people still choose to take these risks due to the rush it can give them. Natalie Wolchover (2011) says that the main reason people take risks is because they want to a unique experience and through this want to break through the limits of safety. She also mentions in her article that even though someone might be willing to do something which is a risk to their health and safety, they would not take social risks. This is called domain-specific risk propensity and says that each person has a different inclination to each of the five categories relating to risk. These five categories are ethical, financial, health and safety, recreational, and social. It also says that what kind of risks a person says can depend on their gender and that males are more likely to take risks which are a danger to their health and safety while females are more likely to take social risks such as changing their career later in life. Wolchover also states that the amount of risks someone takes can depend on their relationship status. If someone is married they are less likely to take risks, but if they divorce their tendency to take risks increases again. She also says how people perceive a risk will determine if they take it or not. When looking at a certain type of risk some people will think the reward of taking it will be great while others may think there is no reward at all. Those which think of there being a great reward often think that the risk itself is much lower than others. Alice Park (2008) believes that the reason we take risks is more biological. She says that the reason why people take risks is because of a neurotransmitter in the brain, dopamine, which gives people that rush and feeling of satisfaction. Because of that feeling, risk takers are always looking for something which can give them the same feeling. Park says risk takers can show similarities to drug addicts in a way that they are always looking for something to give them the high they are looking for....
References: Berry, M, & Hodgson, C (2011) Adventure Education: An Introduction, Routledge: United States of America & Canada
Five Steps to Risk Assessment
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Oxford English Dictionary (2008) Eleventh Edition (Revised 2008) Oxford: Oxford University Press
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Wolchover, J (2011) Why do People Take Risks? Available online at http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/1728-people-take-risks.html Accessed on 10 December 2012
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