Risk Management Options analysis (RMOa) is the application to chemicals management of a broadly used concept of identification, evaluation, prioritization and addressing of risks.
The aim of an RMOa is to identify the optimal approach to address the probability or possible impact of risks to human health or the environment related to the use of a substance. This optimisation exercise considers all options to eliminate whenever possible the risk or at least monitor, control and minimise it. It requires the risks to be first identified, evaluated and prioritised.
Risks may originate from various sources including exposure to chemicals during transportation, storage, production, downstream or final use as well as end-of-life operations but also accidents or natural disasters.
Many companies have a long experience in assessing financial risk scenarios (markets, competition, currency fluctuations etc.) but are increasingly aware of the importance of the chemicals management dimension in their business strategies. They can apply the RMOa concept in weighing options for strengthening the sustainability of their businesses.
Likewise, regulators consider their regulatory management options through an assessment that often resembles an RMOa.
Ultimately an RMOa in chemicals management serves the purpose of protecting public health and safety as well as the environment throughout the lifecycle of the chemicals considered.
Identify & understand the nature of the risk
Consider all risk management options that may be possible, including those that other stakeholders may propose
Analyse & discuss the risk management options and identify the most suited one
Build in feedback loop for improvement, validation and continuous tracking down of potential risks
In practice, the way of approaching an RMOa on a particular substance will depend on whether the analysis aims at identifying the need for a regulatory approach or at helping a sector or a company to formulate a strategy for managing potential risk.
Strategies to prevent or manage risk may also consider other dimensions than the ‘immediate’ or ‘visible’ risk in industrial or professional settings or for consumers and assess the fate of the substances from a circular economy or climate change point of view.
We have prepared a fact sheet with more information on the definition and different types of RMOa which you can download here
Last page update: 12 May 2022