Dom was recently asked to write an article about risk management for adventure, we thought we’d share his thoughts:
Even amongst the general public the words risk assessment are enough to create a range of reactions from a scowl, a yawn or even an angry growl. So trying to use the words amongst the fun loving, live and let live, freedom and self-determining adventure world can be a real challenge. At best it can be seen as a paper pushing nuisance and worse still as a barrier to people’s passions and dreams or even to their safety.
On the other hand, most of us accept that if you want to plan an adventurous expedition to a remote mountain range it would be pretty fool hardy to set off with no prior planning, to jump on a plane, with no kit or equipment, no idea what to expect, what the conditions are likely to be like etc. As soon as you start to consider these kind of issues you are risk assessing – long before you go near a form or a spreadsheet.
So how do we make risk assessment and field safety simple, practical and easy:
- A written risk assessment is important proof that you made sensible and reasonable steps to do things safely
- But remember it is just that – sensible and reasonable things – don’t try to write down every possible eventuality or reams of paperwork, it should be a usable, practical and most importantly flexible document
- Think of practical and simple ways to build dynamic risk assessment into your every day activity, keep your eyes open for changing circumstances, use team meetings to discuss changing plans, or keep an expedition diary or log
- Involve everyone in practical solutions for risk management – it is a culture and not a piece of paper.
You can read the full article at the Adventure Medic website to see more tips at advice on adventure risk management.