Risks & Hazards In Essex
Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, Essex Resilience Forum (ERF) partners are required to assess the risks in their area. ERF partner agencies achieve this by working together to develop the 'Essex Community Risk Register'.
The risk register is informed by national guidance and developed locally with partner agencies and subject matter experts. The final register is endorsed by the senior representatives of all ERF partner agencies.
The register has two key purposes:
1. To ensure that partners have a common perception and understanding of risks. The register ensures that all partners fully understand the likelihood of risks occurring and the impacts that will happen if they do.
2. To assure the people of Essex that risks are being researched and multi-agency plans are put in place to deal with them. The register also advises the public what they can do to protect themselves.
Types of risk
The register places risks into four categories. These categories are determined by assessing the 'likelihood' of a risk occurring and the various 'impacts' that the risk would cause. The categories are below:
Very high risk
These are classed as primary or critical risks requiring immediate attention. They may have a high or low likelihood of occurrence, but their potential consequences are such that they must be treated as a high priority. This may mean that strategies should be developed to reduce or eliminate risks, but also that mitigation in the form of at least (multi-agency) generic planning, exercising and training should be put in place and the risk monitored on a regular frequency. Consideration should be given to planning being specific to the risk rather than generic.
These risks are classed as significant. They may have a high or low likelihood of occurrence, but their potential consequences are sufficiently serious to warrant appropriate consideration after those risks classed as ‘very high’. Consideration should be given to the development of strategies to reduce or eliminate the risks, but also mitigation in the form of at least (multi-agency) generic planning, exercising and training should be put in place and the risk monitored on a regular frequency.
These risks are less significant, but may cause upset and inconvenience in the short term. These risks should be monitored to ensure that they are being appropriately managed and consideration given to their being managed under generic emergency planning arrangements.
These risks are both unlikely to occur and not significant in their impact. They should be managed using normal or generic planning arrangements and require minimal monitoring and control unless subsequent risk assessments show a substantial change, prompting a move to another risk category.
How is likelihood determined?
The likelihood of a risk occurring is based on historical evidence, subject matter expert opinion and local expertise. The ERF constantly carries out a process called 'Horizon Scanning', in which we monitor various channels to forecast what may occur in the short, medium and long term (e.g. Weather forecasting).
How impact is determined:
The impact is again based on subject matter expert opinion, historical evidence and local expertise. The impact is measured across four areas; economic impacts, health impacts, societal impacts and infrastructure impacts.