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Assessing Risk

When completing a risk assessment for your vessel operation keep in mind the results of the follow survey conducted by Chicago economist and author of Freakonomics, Stephen Levitt. He studied surveys in which people were asked to compare risks and concluded, “Most people are pretty terrible at risk assessment. They tend to overstate the risk of dramatic and unlikely events at the expense of more common and boring (if equally devastating) events.

A given person might fear a terrorist attack and mad cow disease more than anything in the world, whereas, in fact, she’d be better off fearing a heart attack (and therefore taking care of herself) or salmonella (and therefore washing her cutting board thoroughly).”

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