Unnecessary Segregation or Pragmatic Isolation?

I've been out in the "real" world for the past six months or so and in that time, my thinking on risk management has changed a little bit. So here it comes, a confession... I have being using a PIG recently and I have felt its use has probably helped with effective management of overall risk.

How can that be? Don't you despise PIGs with every fibre of your being? Well, yes. I still do but let me provide two little points which might put this confession in context.

Firstly, the company I work for doesn't rely solely on the product of impact and probability to assess risk. They also score risk on maximum foreseeable loss. That scale puts most aviation activities into the highest risk bucket straight away. No complex probability calculations required.

The second point is that no business is solely interested in safety. Now, I know that is extremely obvious and on some level I knew that but I don't think I appreciated it that much when I was Mr "All-About-Safety". That's not the way it is anymore, I have other things to think about and my superiors expect me to provide a picture of the overall operation at my airport.

So, now that the business knows that aviation is one of the highest risks, what now? If it is "red" all the time, how to do you manage that?

Okay, now we are back on track. How does one assess the complex safety environment which exists within the aviation risk of the business? Well, I've been exploring the how-to-do-it bit on here for a while and I'm getting closer to tying it up but lately I've been thinking more about how this fits into the bigger picture.

The best I can come up with is to propose that this type of risk analysis be categorised at intra-risk analysis.

I have been trying to avoid segregating safety risk analysis from general risk analysis but in order to progress the concepts I've been working on within my real work, I feel the need to put the whole grand unifying theory of risk to one side.

PIGs and the like have a strong foothold in existing risk management frameworks and pragmatically, it makes sense to create a space in which these concepts can develop.

At the moment, that's what I'm going to run with for now. I'll have my generally PIG-based risk register for the entire operation and within it, I'll have an intra-risk register for aviation safety using a framework based on the concepts of criticality, exposure and control.

Using this approach, I hope to develop a way of informing senior managers what the picture of risk is within that large "red" box labelled aviation and how they can be assured that the risk is both acceptable and as low as reasonably practicable.

I'll let you know how it goes.