Risk can be defined as the effect (e.g. deviation from the expected — positive and/or negative) of uncertainty on objectives.  Risk is often characterized by reference to potential events, consequences, or a combination of these and how they can affect the achievement of objectives.

Objectives can have different aspects such as financial, health and safety and environmental goals and can apply at different levels such as strategic, organization-wide, project, product and process.

Risk may often be expressed in terms of a combination of the consequences of an event or a change in circumstances, and the associated likelihood of its occurrence.

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