What does it mean to Embrace Risk?

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There are over 200 bodies on Mount Everest, and they’re used as landmarks
Now, this is embracing risk at extreme levels, and if this is your choice, your hobby, then all good to you as this is how we push the limits, but in the workplace, the rules on self governance is a little different. The organisation owns risk. The only way we create risk is by breaking rules...this is not what risk management is about!

All possibility of harm should be managed and mitigated in the workplace, hence no risk to embrace. We should be embracing and holding onto safety. Those who tell us to embrace risk are actually the cause of more rules. They are the ones who create more complexity. They are the ones who seek perfection. They are never content with what we have now. 

1. To clasp or hold close with the arms, usually as an expression of affection.

2. To surround or enclose:

3. To include or contain as part of something broader.

4. To adopt or support willingly or eagerly:

5. To avail oneself of:


To join in an embrace.

1. An act of holding close with the arms, usually as an expression of affection; a hug.

2. An enclosure or encirclement:

3. Eager acceptance:

Risk is; 

the “effect of uncertainty on objectives”(ISO31000)...

is related to Hazard, it is the potential of harm or loss (generally economic) and its impact to the company or individual from a potential hazard. (OSHA)

For what I can tell, Embracing Risk is all about holding onto it, surrounding yourself with it, adopting and to support it willingly. This maybe a good philosophy in general life, but not in the workplace. There is a difference. Dr Long and his followers are confused and an example like this HERE proves it. Dr Long says "Risk elimination thinking and behaviour sets a trajectory for a ‘dumb down’ workplace culture"...this is nonsense. So is this statement "The more efforts are made to ‘engineer out the idiot’, the more the system creates an unthinking workforce". You see Dr long and followers...you tell us to embrace risk, yet you criticise the efforts to reduce the new risk made by those making the deviations and other risk embracing practices...do you not see your own dissonance?

Is this kind of talk and example really something that should be using to describe how we should be managing risk in workplace?. If we are told that words matter, then I am not sure how the phrase “embracing risk” is a risk favourable term to use! 

I think we need to Mitigate Risk (not embrace it)...mmm, I am sure I read that somewhere.

People who embrace Risk (effect of uncertainty on objectives) in the workplace are those who have not managed risk to ALARP in the first. If you have done some foresight thinking (such as conducting a risk assessment) how can you embrace risk when risk is supposed to be mitigated?

Sure, some experts use this word in equivalence with life and hobbies HERE, but I feel this is a bad example to use. We are not talking about embracing risk as a person who is their own judge. In the workplace, risk is not up to the individual. Risk is to be managed. The organisation owns the risk. 

This worker has just read Dr Long's book on Real Risk where it it says you learn by taking risks. Going against the workplace "golden rules" and choosing to be loose and taking a risk, he misjudged the gap and was killed...now the company has gone bust and the owner jailed.

Embracing Risk in the workplace results in negative outcomes.

So these safety experts are telling us to embrace risk and uncertainty HERE, they are saying that risk taking is part of life and that it makes us who we are risking lives.

For people who claim they have worked in the workplace as a safety advisor (not consultant or manager who are mostly out of touch with reality), they seem to forget that in the workplace we are meant to mitigate risk. We are not gambling on personal or business gains, but on peoples lives.  

If one has been in a safety role in the past and now only just working out via what safety people are saying today, then I would have to say that they have not been a front line safety person, or if they were one, they were a very bad one. I think it is wrong to promote yourself as one who has done it all when in fact you have not. Sadly LinkedIn is full people promoting themselves above their skills and competence. Just because you write a self published book (that makes you complete as an expert even if its incorrect) or paper does not mean it can be applied in real life. 

"It is not intelligent or even ethical to compare risk taking in business, hobbies and sports with risk taking in the workplace where people are the value, how anyone can prescribe to this nonsensical thinking is beyond any rationale"

This is a shot of the named web site; please someone tell me how embracing risk is not dangerous. This is the problem when people compare risk taking in sport and business with risk taking in work practices. In the workplace (the real issue and what safety and risk is about in this context) there is no place for taking risks. This is why we risk assess and mitigate risk. Some people are so caught up in this phycology of risk they fail to see their own biases and are naïve to the rubbish they are selling. The real world is not just.


It has now changed to this one after my post - different words same meaning, but a new spin called humanising...I find it interesting the use of this word as readers of mine will know that being humanised is what we are now, there is nothing else. This whole concept is about not being told what to do and to take risks - I can see many businesses going broke with this philosophy - good to see the childish spud head gone
The reason why organisations and business do not allow their workers to embrace risk  is the risk is not theirs to own, it belongs ultimately to the organisation. I mean really, how is embracing risk outside of known safety practices and risk assessment any good?

Frankly; these experts are promoting nonsense!...but buy their jargon and find out for yourself...for when you as a person with a 'thinking brain' questions how any of their stuff can be applied in a real world environment you will see it how I see it!

Few more topics of interest  HERE, HERE, HERE,

Testing the term Embracing Uncertainty ; HERE 
So, I ask as a cynic and critical thinker - If Embracing Risk is holding onto the possibility of suffering harm or loss; how can this be good safety practice? are we not supposed to mitigate risk!

So would they promote these slogans

# Let’s embrace a situation involving exposure to danger!

# Let’s embrace and expose (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss!

# Let's have a business employ consultants that promote such nonsense, then all can embrace risk together.

Don't copy my ideas, think of your own!

I have read Risk Makes Sense (Dr Long) and This book does not know what it wants to be. It sways between pop psychology (of the style found in work by Malcolm Gladwell) and academic text. There are too many personal anecdotes of the author and the anecdotes are unnecessarily filled with irrelevant material. There is much cutting-and-pasting of text from other sources. The book seems to become more academic as it progresses with Chapter 1 and, for instance, Chapter 7 being of stark contrast...DM

Embracing Risk

Warning - Embracing Risk can be fatal
I hope people get it, there is a difference between work and play...I wish some experts would stop comparing the two and stop making it sound like a "Just Do It" motivation story.
So next time some expert/academic tells you to embrace risk at work, get them to sign the risk assessment approval so they own your fate...let's see if they sign it!

This is why Captain Risky cannot find a insurance company...would you want him working for YOU!!!!
Captain Risky ads HERE, HERE, HERE

Maybe even Australia Leo Wanker (above) - HERE, HERE

So, there you have a few examples, I hope those safety experts who put peoples lives in danger spreading rubbish like embracing risk and being loose wake up and see reality!

Risk is the “effect of uncertainty on objectives”(ISO31000)...

Risk is related to Hazard, it is the potential of harm or loss (generally economic) and its impact to the company or individual from a potential hazard. (OSHA)

Not sure you embrace a loved one in this context...

Risk (the known type) in the workplace is a thing we need to avoid/control (respectfully and with appreciation). You need to think critically about your views if you think embracing risk at work is good... otherwise your view is putting lives at risk. 

We must be specific when explaining what risk we are advertising,

Below is a simple quick picture I drew showing what I see is the issue with using RISK as a collective word. There are at least four main "risks" (I have only added a coupe of points in each to keep it simple). In the workplace the workers do not own the risk, the organisation does, it's that simple. Telling readers that we need to "embrace risk" and  "ignore rules" so we are not to be dumbed down is dangerous. The implementation of more rules and systems is all because of our addiction to being reimbursed with compensation.
As I have been saying for some time; Until a person can develop a safety program that rids litigation, safety is not going to get any better. Everyone is afraid of being sued for obvious reasons.
Yesterday I picked out a half empty packet of chips from a roadside rubbish bin and ate them...I embraced risk as no-one owns what I do! If I got sick, then that's my concern.