Most of us have
broken a bit of our body at some point. But you did not go and count the number
of people who broke their ankle playing your sport. You go and play without working
out the likelihood of breaking your ankle. But if you have torn a hamstring, you
may not risk playing on it - unless it is an important game.
Risk must be put into context. It does not occur as an entity in itself. It is
part of a 'package' of attributes. This includes technology (e.g. nuclear power)
or locale (e.g. earthquake zone) and way of life (e.g. bungy jumping). Risk may
be calculated in mathematics, but it is still a lot of guesswork.
the most dangerous sport?
makes measurement of risk difficult. People perceive
risks in ways that may have little bearing on the actual
measured level of risk. It often depends where you
risks to health for people working in agriculture are measured
less than the risk of musculo-skeletal disorders (MSD) from
inappropriate machines, which 80% will suffer at some point.
Pesticides pose wider risks to impacts on land, air, water
and food, often many miles from their source.
People are generally
more concerned about chemical pollution of rivers and the sea and disposal of
toxic waste than about ozone layer depletion and drinking water quality. Women
are usually more concerned than men and older people more than young.
your survey of colleagues' concerns bear this out?