RISK: To Manage or Control?

Risk Management and Risk Control are commonly-used terms nowadays, especially in the workplace and in legal proceedings, specially in the Board Rooms. When I started coming face to face these terms I found myself little hesitant while using the same terms. And, when I gave it a serious thoughts, the result was as I am taking it down.

When one comes across these terms, various hazards and obstacles in public and private life are taken into consideration.

Risky Gadgets, Risky Routes, and even Risk-Prone people are avoided both at home and at work. Companies provide insurance for objects, property, and even people which may at one point in time be subject to risk. Disasters such as floods, fire, and acts of nature such as typhoons are mentioned in insurance policies. Anything which pertains to risk is regarded as aversive, and the terms risk management and risk control come into mind when minimizing or eliminating risk.

Most people think that the two terms are the same. However, there’s an important difference between the two terms which is important when describing anti-risk measures.
Among the two terms, Risk Management is more popular. A search on the web would yield millions of hits for risk management, while only a few hundred thousand pages mention risk control.

The reason for this is that risk management is utilized in business and legal parameters. Industrial companies use the term risk management freely when it comes to the identification and analysis of problems which may arise out of a particular routine or project. For example, construction difficulties which may lead to structural inconsistencies can be categorized under risk management. Other examples include faulty or outdated conveyor belts which don’t process products efficiently, or dim light bulbs which may decrease output because of low workplace visibility.

Risk Control, on the other hand, is more commonly used in the workplace. During company meetings, the term risk control is used freely when campaigning against slippery surfaces, octopus electrical connections, non-protected network computers, and other equipment which may pose as hazards. Risk control may also involve the removal or replacement of company policies which may put an employee at harm’s way.

The difference between the two terms may seem trivial, but when it’s written on legal documents, it becomes significant.

Risk Management is the heavier term, not because it is used often, but because it takes into account the possibility of any disaster occurring, and putting up advanced measures against that particular disaster. Risk Control is focused mainly on prevention, since workplace hazards can be removed easily once they’re identified- but when it comes to the industrial level, there are so many risk factors that it seems inevitable that at one point in time, one disaster is bound to happen.

Now that you know the difference between the two terms, you should use each term in its proper context. When dealing with products on the assembly line, or anything which pertains to the industrial scene, the term risk management should be utilized. However, when it comes to identifying and eliminating hazards in the workplace, the lighter term risk control should be used.


    -At first, the terms risk control and risk management may seem the same because they both aim to minimize, or eliminate risk.

    -Risk Management has greater scope, and is apt for the industrial context, while risk control is used mainly to identify and remove hazards in the workplace.

    -Risk management has safeguards against disaster because it accepts that at one point or another, one risk factor might push through. On the other hand, risk control assumes that risk can be eliminated completely by removing workplace hazards.

    -Both terms should be used in proper context. When used in legal documents, only one term can be used: either risk management, or risk control, depending on the context.


About Shabab Khan

A Journalist, Philanthropist; Author of 'The Magician', 'Go!', 'Brutal'. Being a passionate writer, I am into Journalism and writing columns, news stories, articles for top media house. Twitter: @khantastix khansworld@rediffmail.com
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