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What is risk?

What is risk?

  • Risk is a situation that is likely to be unusual - that has significant potential for damage. 
  • Risk is the chance of something unpleasant happening, such as an injury or loss – and therefore something to be avoided. 
  • Risk is the chance, high or low, or somebody being harmed by a hazard, and how serious the harm could be
  • A Hazard is anything that may cause harm, e.g. chemicals, electricity, working from ladders, noise etc

Examples of risk events

  • Natural events, e.g. flooding, cold weather
  • Accidents, e.g. road accident, chemical spill
  • Disease or infection
  • Political unrest, e.g. war, terrorism, industrial action
  • Crime, e.g. violence, theft, fraud
  • Economic events, e.g. recession
  • Pollution or habitat destruction
  • Fuel Strike
  • Infrastructure /Transport Disruption
  • Community Risk Register

Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, Local Resilience Forums are required to ensure that events or situations which threaten serious damage to the people or our environment, are identified, and where possible, controlled or mitigated against.

It is a document that shows which risks have been identified that can affect an area, including the assessment of each risks impact and likelihood. The risks are presented in a matrix that allocates a risk rating according to government guidelines, It is a living document and is reviewed and updated in accordance with the national risk assessments produced annually by the government

For more information on your local risk go to The Community Risk Register (CRR) can be found on

Further information on risk and risk assessments can be found on the UK Resilience web site at