What is your target potential? Different businesses and facilities will become a target for different reasons and to different people. Variables to calculate this threat are the surrounding area, the residential population, the amount of crime that takes place, products, services and many other issues to take into account to secure your space. Is your location in a dense retail area or is the area spread out far? Is it a high-end area, where other facilities attract robberies? Is there a personal relationship that is strained that could attract confrontation, vandalism or even assault? Figuring out how vulnerable you are to safety and security risks is the foundation of calculating if you need a risk assessment, and how thorough of an assessment you require.

Population consists of several factors. Clients, employees and the population of the people in the neighborhood should all be taken into consideration. From the everyday employee to a person passing by on the sidewalk, everyone is entitled to a reasonable sense of security. If one population associated with your business and/or facility is a potential target of another population affiliated, there are steps that have to be taken in order to mitigate liability and negligence. For example, if you own a retail store that is in a high crime area your customers a possible target for the criminal element in the area. In the unfortunate event one of your customers was accosted, you could be held liable for not installing deterring measures like proper lighting, access control or camera coverage. In an area like this, threats would be opportunistic and making your area a hard target would more than likely discourge crime without testing your security.

In conclusion, a risk assessment provides excellent insurance against liability that may not have even been thought of. In the event of negative incident occurring like an active assailant, once the event is over the Office if Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can evaluate the area and fine or possibly shut down the facility. A risk assessment can protect your business and/or facility and eliminate you from liability and negligence in the courts, with law and safety enforcement and insurance. Even more important, a risk assessment can provide a piece of mind for all involved and allowing you to concentrate on your business.