Risk management: It’s everyone’s responsibility

Risk management: It’s everyone’s responsibility

As it begins to warm up in beautiful Utah, you are probably preparing to visit the national parks, hike, mountain bike, off-road with ATVs and/or 4-PMVs, rock climb or go canyoneering. You may be planning to skydive, parasail or waterski.


You might be saying, “I’m good to go,” and think that a commander/director high-risk activity briefing is not necessary. You are probably rationalizing. You don’t need a briefing, because you are an experienced dirt-bike enthusiast and you have accomplished the task a thousand times before. 

Well, that may have been the case 20 years ago. Now you are 46 years of age, and quite rusty at the task. You have not been on dirt bike for some time. The last time, you rode a 2-wheel anything was a 10-speed. So this is a perfect time to use the Air Force’s Risk Management program.

You should begin mentally stepping through the probability of risk occurring based on the task, and the severity of the hazard. And then provide a Risk Assessment to the event that you are about to embark on. It is that simple. Whether you are at work performing a task based on new workload such as F-35 depot maintenance, inserting electronic control panels for the new high bay lighting or rerouting fiber optic cable; you should strive to minimize injuries to yourself and your co-workers by way ensuring Risk Management is factored into the processes. 

The Risk Assessment Matrix as outlined within the Air Force Instruction 90-802 dated Feb. 11, 2013, and the new Air Force Form 4437.

This relatively new Air Force Instruction assigns responsibilities, outlines goals, principles, concepts and training requirements. The major requirements:

• All commanders/directors are trained in RM

• All subordinate personnel, supervisors and RM process managers/instructors/advisers are trained in RM

• RM principles, processes, tools and techniques are established, as appropriate, to address specific operations, missions, and activities (on- and off-duty).

• Ensure assigned personnel receive periodic RM refresher briefings/presentations

• Organizational and personal application of RM principles, processes, tools and techniques are evaluated following any significant mishap or event that affects the organization or individuals within the organization.

• The process can range from in-depth RM planning normally implemented well in advance of the target system, mission, event or activity, and is normally reserved for more complex and riskier efforts (i.e. large troop/unit movements, air show planning, system development, tactics and training curricula development, scheduled vacations, organized camping/hiking activities, scheduled home repairs, etc.).

• As the situation, operation or activity becomes less complex, familiar and/or closer to execution, deliberate RM planning becomes simplified and the focus shifts to ensuring near-term hazards and mitigation strategies are considered. Across the spectrum of deliberate RM, we must always include the experience, expertise and knowledge of experienced personnel to identify known hazards/risks and strategies to effectively mitigate risks for the specific mission, activity or task in both on- and off-duty situations.

• Although preplanning is always desired for any situation, we must also consider how we deal with RM once we begin the execution phase of an activity.

Deliberate Risk Assessment Worksheet Air Force Form 4437 or similar product must be completed for activities such as Team Hill Ski Day, wing exercises, Wingman Day with physical activities events, and unit picnics that incorporate physical endurance activities.

The responsible commander/director/supervisor completes the Form 4437 or similar product, and 75th Air Base Wing Safety Office staff is available to assist. Having the Risk Assessment Worksheet accomplished ensures management and employees are stepping through 5-step RM process. 

If you have any questions of the Air Force Instruction 90-802 or how to fill out the Risk Assessment Worksheet, please do not hesitate to contact the staff at the 75th Air Base Wing Safety Office at 801-777-5991.

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