What Is a Risk Assessment Report?

A risk assessment report (RAR) is also known as security risk assessment (SAR). According to the definition by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a risk assessment report is a document containing the results of a risk assessment or the formal outcome of the process of assessing risks. Before writing the report, the company must conduct a thorough evaluation of potential dangers a company might go through in applying a plan. Through the assessments, the business can provide countermeasures, processes, and control procedures to minimize the impact of risks, if there are any. A risk assessment report holds all the necessary information that helps mitigate these hazards.

In a research paper entitled Risk Assessment for Scientific Data from the Data Science Journal, an assessment effort by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) resulted in a modernization prioritization from various frameworks and improved records, increasing at a rate of 5%. In the risk assessment report, the flaw resides in the lack of physical attribution of the risk and focuses solely on the framework.

Components of a Risk Assessment Report

Risk assessments come in different forms, and each report follows a particular format depending on the type of risk assessment the organization does. However, when it comes to the crucial parts of the risk assessment included in the report, the elements below show relevance to the document.

Executive Summary: An executive summary identifies the date of the assessment and describes the threat profiles for perilous resources with a brief explanation detailing the results of risk assessment. It must also identify the possible steps of risk mitigation. Executive summaries consist of sub-components, including the purpose of the analysis, scope of the analysis, steps of assessment, and summary of findings. The purpose allows you to describe why performing the assessment is necessary for the company. It serves as an opportunity to detail that you have the background and motivation to conduct the risk assessment while focusing on the organizations’ goals and visions. It’s also essential to write in a way that does not seem generic because clients want specifics for their company. Scope of analysis centers on the scope’s description, stressing what items are identified or not identified within the report. Take note that explicitly stating clients’ requests about exclusions is crucial. It is also necessary to include a simple disclaimer stating that the current setting of the assessment does not guarantee its status in the future. It is critical to include an accurate breakdown of processes followed during the assessment. Including this gives your client reassurance that there is due diligence and thoroughness in the evaluation. It is also commendable to focus on confidentiality, integrity, availability, and accountability structures for each inclusion with threat and vulnerability evaluations. Findings summary describes the overall level of risk and the number of risks identified for each resource. It is mandatory to indicate their levels through a scale from very low to very high.Body of the report: In this section, instead of a summary of the purpose, it details the necessary objectives along with answers to fundamental assessment questions. These questions include defining how the findings can change the organizational or business structures through potential risks in terms of application. It also outlines the use of the results in the risk management framework. This covers a range of factors like risk assessments for security control as a starting point for following risk assessments or subsequent risk assessments for impactful company decisions, alternative courses of action, identification of new hazards and vulnerabilities, and association of knowledge from previous attacks. It also helps with identifying constraints and assumptions and risk tolerance inputs. It also provides a risk model and analytic approach and a rationale for risk related-decisions. It identifies uncertainties and how these uncertainties impact decision-making processes. The body lists down the organizational systems, missions, and functions, describing each. It also summarizes the results through graphs or tables for easier decision-making. Most importantly, it identifies the time frame of the risk assessment’s validity.Appendices: The appendices list down all relevant references and sources of information. It also contains the names and contact information of individuals partaking in the assessment. Supporting evidence and evaluation details are also necessary for further understanding of results.

Types of Risk Assessment

In terms of writing down risk assessment reports, remember that there are various types of risk assessment. It is crucial for teams or individuals working on the report to have sufficient background and differences, allowing them to manage the hazards of each one. Below are the most common types of risk assessments conducted in various organizations.

Qualitative Risk Assessment: Qualitative assessments are the most common type there is and are commonly observed in various workplaces and organizations. These assessments are based on the assessors’ personal knowledge, observations, judgment, and expertise. Aside from their own experiences, they also ask for insight from others that observe the activity and best practice standards. The risks found in the qualitative assessment are under the classifications for low, medium, and high levels with considerations to severity and probability.Quantitative Risk Assessment: Quantitative assessments measure risks through quantitative tools and techniques. These risk assessments focus on more perilous dangers, including aircraft safety plans and nuclear plant designs. The assessment ranges from perils brought about by machinery or techniques. Qualitative assessments use a different risk matrix to assess the likelihood and severity of risks, through a 3 by 3 or a 5 by 5.Generic Risk Assessment: These types of assessments cover the hazards of daily activities and tasks. The idea behind conducting these assessments is to reduce the amount of paperwork and unnecessary exertion of effort. These assessments also cover similar activities or resources in various workplaces and departments. It also acts as a template for other risk assessments that cover similar risks present in a particular activity. Despite risks having commonalities, it is worth remembering that these factors are susceptible to environmental changes, affecting risk levels and producing new risks. Site-specific Risk Assessment: One of the essential types of risk assessments, it carries out specific activities relating to particular locations. Meaning they are relevant and effective in terms of mitigating and controlling risks, keeping individuals safe. Most site-specific risk assessments branch out from generic risk assessments in obtaining an accurate knowledge of dangers and risk reduction processes. These assessments help design and execute effective methods of risk management according to risk levels. Site-specific risk assessments also help with protecting organizations from legal consequences and damages from health and safety hazards.Dynamic Risk Assessments: These risk assessments happen in on-the-spot situations, especially in unforeseen situations. These are often applicable to coping with unknown risks and handling uncertain events. A common use for dynamic risk assessment is through emergency responses or care workers through changing environments and can be continually assessed.

How to Create a Risk Assessment Report

Before continuing into your risk assessment processes, you need to identify the scope and purpose for the assessment, all your necessary resources, potential stakeholders, and the statutory rules and regulations covering the evaluation. Writing risk assessments prove to be time-consuming if you do not know about drafting them. Thankfully, there are useful steps to conduct your risk assessments, and these are as follows.

Step 1: Identify All Possible Hazards

The first step into creating a risk assessment report is determining the dangers your employees face in their daily activities. Familiarize yourself with various teams’ and managements’ task lists. Systematically identify physical, mental, chemical, and biological hazards employees face, including slips and trips on the floor, machinery, noise, excess workloads, long hours and overtime work, cleaning fluids, allergic reactions, and infectious diseases. You can get valuable information from employees concerning problems or challenges in their respective lines of work.

Step 2: Determine Scenarios and Individuals Facing the Risks

The organization must assess its employees, visitors, clients, investors, and partners. It is also the employer’s responsibility to review work routines across different departments and locations. It is also necessary to identify duties towards the health and safety of persons with disabilities, comorbidities, night and shift workers, and pregnant and lactating mothers.

Step 3: Evaluate Risks and Take Precautionary Measures

Upon identifying possible risks and the individuals affected by them, consider how each of these dangers causes harm and its severity. It helps your organization determine whether to take new or refined measures to diminish the levels of risk, including which of these hazards must be of the highest priority.

Step 4: Record Your Findings

In terms of putting your findings in a document, the law mandates organizations to record them when there are more than five employees in a company. The report must include information about any hazards in the risk assessment, actions taken to mitigate risks, and the people they affect. The risk assessment report serves as proof of carrying out an assessment and basis for a review of working practices. It must show you have proper checking of the workplace, controlling and dealing with risks, initiating risk mitigation methods, and staff involvement.

Step 5: Review Your Risk Assessments

Remember that different workplaces and industries undergo rapid changes, meaning that the organization’s risks change over time. Risk assessment reports must undergo periodical reviews to ensure safe working practices and conditions persist and account for new systems and equipment, staying above new hazards.

FAQs

What is the goal of conducting risk assessments?

The main goal of risk assessments is to evaluate hazards, removing or mitigating their effects by researching, planning, and implementing control measures as the organization deems necessary. In doing so, you provide a safer and healthier working environment for your staff. It also answers essential questions about the possibilities of risks and their circumstances, possible consequences, probability of occurrence, the effectiveness of risk management, and further actions.

How often must the company conduct risk assessments?

There are various reasons for conducting risks assessments. Employers must administer risk assessments whenever new vacancies or jobs produces new hazards to the organization. Determine if vacancies are influenced by factors affecting turnovers and provide solutions, like employee surveys and training. It is also necessary to conduct risk assessments if changes are alerting the organization of new hazards, including an increase in leaves, issues on burnouts, and recurring absences. There is a need for risk assessments from the introduction of new machinery or processes.

Is there a difference between risk analysis and risk assessments?

Risk assessments help you identify possible risks and break them down into categories. It also provides an outline of potential consequences associated with identified risks. It involves systems and methods that classify, evaluate, and report all risk-related matters. Meanwhile, risk assessments involve crucial evaluation processes, determining the significance of risk factors. It also measures the likelihood of circumstances and resistances to these risks following particular events. It produces the possibility of prioritizing high-risk instances and set approaches to lessen their occurrence.

Incorporating risk assessments reports are a critical and mandatory procedure in any organization. These risk assessment reports help record findings of risk assessments that help your company lessen the impacts of risks to employees and organizations. It is necessary to identify these risks and record them to produce helpful alternatives and processes for the organization to reduce or completely remove these hazards. It also helps to review these documents to make adjustments and improvements, helping the company in the future. In the words of Kelly Barnhill, “That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.” Do not be afraid of improving and making revisions to your report as it positively affects the organization. Use and download the risk assessment reports available above and start providing your business its best defense against hazards.