The purpose of conducting a workplace risk analysis is to lessen the dangers inherent in your daily tasks. However, even if you take all the necessary precautions, certain hazards are always left over.

Find out some residual risks in this article and how to deal with any dangers in your workplace.

Understanding Residual Risk

Risk assessment is essential to project management because it helps uncover issues before they become catastrophic.

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to eliminate all the risks. If a danger cannot be eliminated, it must be mitigated. And it means lessening the danger. You can make the risk smaller by taking preventative measures, but there is always some danger involved.

One method of risk mitigation is implementing safety measures to either eradicate the threat or lessen its adverse effects. So, anything remaining after safeguards have been set up is known as residual risk.

In simpler terms, “residual risk” refers to the danger still present after all other threats have been mitigated.

How Can You Determine Residual Risks?

To identify residual risks, you must differentiate them from inherent risks.

So, what is inherent risk: These are risks that exist in any situation when no efforts have been taken to lower it, and no controls or other procedures have been implemented to bring it down to an acceptable level.

Inherent dangers typically arise when a company fails to provide enough safeguards for its daily activities.

Therefore, residual risks are left after you’ve identified the inherent risks and the risk control procedures to mitigate them.

To get residual risk, you can use this formula:

Subtract control measures from the inherent risk

The first step in mitigating risk is to recognize that it exists. The chance, severity, and time it will take to recover from this risk must be calculated. Next, your risk mitigation strategies are laid out.

Calculating residual risk is crucial, especially when contrasting various control strategies. Besides, it can help you determine the proper safety measures to mitigate different hazards.

How to Mitigate Residual Risks

To reduce risks, you must examine available assets, select appropriate controls, and delegate reasonable duties. After these safeguards have been implemented and their effect evaluated, your residual risk can be computed.

Also, workplaces’ ability to modify risk tolerance is crucial in managing residual risk. Here are some of the strategies you can deploy in your workplace to ensure you manage your potential residual risks:

Engage Your Staff in Risk Management

Risk management is an across-the-company responsibility. To fully understand the dangers facing your business, the best methods for mitigating them, and whether or not your current safeguards are enough, you’ll need input from workers across all departments. Besides, studies have confirmed that employee engagement in risk management improves production and efficiency.

Image alt text: Project manager engaging staff in risk management plan

Author credits: By U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District from Wiesbaden, Germany, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Here are some of the methods for increasing employee participation in order to reduce dangers:

Alignment: Do workers have what it takes to advance the company? To achieve a safety culture then, you must find answers to the following questions:

  • Leadership: How does upper management share the company’s ideals with employees? How does the management team explain the value of risk reduction to employees?
  • Management: This is the binding agent that puts leadership principles into action. Do they encourage productivity and dedication among their staff?

Worker’s capability: Do your staff know what to do during an emergency? Therefore:

  • Define roles and let employees know what the job entails: Consider the position’s requirements and the skills and knowledge your team will need to succeed. This isn’t meant to label people but to provide them with a path forward.
  • Effective Methods for Hiring: How do you screen applicants and choose the best ones to hire? Is there anything more you can measure to see if your procedures are effective?

Therefore, ensure you set quality hiring procedures that outline employees’ strengths and weaknesses, especially those relating to personal and workplace safety awareness.

Growth and Improvement: How do you oversee the maturation of expertise pertinent to one’s position? To what extent do you promote early knowledge integration throughout the onboarding process? In what ways may coaching help someone become an expert?

What motivates people to work hard throughout generations is almost universally the chance to learn and grow in their positions. Talented workers will want to know how they may improve their skills and advance in their careers if hired. How would you shape the world so that everyone can thrive?

Also, you must ensure that your employees have all the necessary resources to succeed in their jobs. Even better, have every department store its first aid equipment and emergency response tools for various situations.

Using Case Management Software

Selecting optimal control mechanisms for achieving a desired outcome minimizes residual risk. But don’t expect perfection on your first try. Incident management software helps streamline the risk assessment process, leading to more rapid and effective residual risk mitigation.

While using this software, ensure you:

Document Every Occurrence: A comprehensive picture of workplace occurrences is necessary to determine the efficacy of control methods. Allowing some to slip through could distort your results. Therefore, you risk wasting funds on unnecessary adjustments or incorrectly attributing the effectiveness of a control.

However, using effective case software can help you record and follow up on every occurrence. Therefore, consider user-friendly web-based software. This can help you and your staff to record any incident from any location.

Even better, incident management programs can simplify your intakes, and when you or your staff make reports, it automatically creates a log loaded with necessary details. This guarantees that problems will be solved promptly.

Find the breaks and patterns: After putting preventative measures in place, monitoring incidents to assess their efficacy is essential. Has the reduction of one risk increased the occurrence of a different risk? Is there a specific department or office that seems to be failing despite your best efforts to improve?

It may take hours to analyze incident data by hand, but this software can easily spot patterns and gaps in only a few minutes. Using charts, graphs, and heat maps, you may generate in-depth reports pinpoint unaddressed risk areas. You can use this data to determine where your efforts are most needed and whether or not your current methods of control are enough.

Proper Information Sharing

You could have a solid residual risk management plan, but how well is the plan being implemented? Therefore, as part of the employee engagement plan, ensure you have regular safety meetings documenting their worries and suggestions to help identify or address potential threats.

Importance of Residual Risk Management

Performing residual risk assessment and management help your company and employees in several ways, including:

Improves Workplace Safety

The primary duty of the risk management team always includes prioritizing employee health and safety. The team investigates safety issues within the company and attempts to fix them proactively. They analyze security data to spot patterns in the occurrence of losses and injuries, and then they take steps to eliminate those patterns, thus ensuring a safer workplace.

Cuts Down On Unforeseen Problems

When it comes to the workplace, few people enjoy a pleasant surprise. The risk management team’s job is to identify all potential threats and determine how to eliminate or mitigate them. Although it’s pretty impossible to anticipate and eliminate all possible risks, a risk manager can reduce their impact.

Enhances Communication and Workplace Interaction

Effective vertical or horizontal communication is crucial to the success of any business and its employees. They improve communication and teamwork by raising awareness of internal and external factors.

Risk management facilitates cross-functional dialogue by serving as a single access for all risk information and generating relevant reports and analyses. Risk managers facilitate horizontal communication throughout a company by articulating goals and connecting data to those objectives. Employees gain from having access to multiple channels of communication.


Some dangers are inevitable in any endeavor. And it’s possible that you won’t manage to complete a task at all, especially if you want to try to wipe out all potential dangers. But it would help if you didn’t endanger your team until it’s essential. Reduce the remaining potential for harm to an acceptable level so no one will be seriously harmed. Ensure that your staff is aware of any potential dangers that still exist. This can be done as part of your risk analysis.