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Key concepts of risk assessment

Risk and threat must be distinguished because they are different concepts. Risk is the product of the threat or likelihood of an event (i.e. its probability of occurring) and the severity of its consequences (i.e. the harm produced).

Figure 5.3 Threat, harm, and risk

When both the threat (probability) and its severity (harm) are known, a risk assessment can be carried out. This process is illustrated in Figure 5.3. Risk assessment, therefore, includes measures of both threat and harm. The specifics of a given location and local context are crucial for accurate risk assessment.

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