The Editor’s Corner | Mot de l’éditeur

By Michael Bournazian, Eng., Newsletter Editor, ASQ Senior Member, Quality Management Professional, CSSGB with Rolls-Royce

The announcement earlier this month from the World Health Organization that COVID-19 no longer needs to be deemed a global health crisis was of little reassurance to me. As someone who is immune compromised and in daily contact with my Mom who is elderly, my mask wearing continues, and if I stick out like a sore thumb, then so be it.

When I go into the office to work, I have consistently been the only one wearing a mask for about the last 3 months. Since I started going back to seeing live indoor concerts in 2022, I double-mask. Eating at a restaurant in the past 3 years happens only if said restaurant has an outdoor dining area. And when I go indoor shopping (whether it be for groceries or something else), a mask can still be found on my face.

That said, in another instance of my work life encroaching into my personal life, in March 2023 I have found myself needing to practice “RISK ACCEPTANCE“.

With the 2015 revision of the ISO 9001 standard, we were finally brought into (perhaps kicking and screaming) the world of Risk Management and Risk-based Thinking. Along with it came terms that previously had more of a foothold in the financial world, such as Risk Assessment, Risk Analysis, Risk Mitigation, and as I mentioned above, Risk Acceptance (also called Risk Retention). It ultimately means exactly what you think it does . . . which is that you are aware of a potential or inherent risk, but you knowingly decide to not act upon it in order to minimize its effects (aka mitigation).

Well, some recent examples of me assessing risk and then (in one instance) accepting risk included the following:

  • The funeral of a family member in March 2023 (all events occurring on the same day):
    • Attending the church service – mask worn, as there is no need to eat during the service and it is indoors;
    • Riding in the hearse with 5 other people to the cemetery – mask worn, as I had not had much contact with them in the past 3 years and we are in a small closed space;
    • At the cemetery – mask not worn, as we are now outside and COVID is less transmissible outdoors;
    • Reception at the church’s restaurant – indoors but mask not worn, as I would be eating regularly (risk accepted).

Over the next 10 days after this difficult day (for numerous reasons), I conducted a total of 3 rapid tests on myself, all of which came back negative. Would I have been surprised with a positive result? Not in the least, but as I stated above, I accepted the risk and so did my Mom who was with me the whole time and masked in the same manner as I did.

Risk Management . . . it’s all around you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, I know, the “C” word was used during the writing of this article.


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Thank you, all the best and none of the worst.

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