How much legal knowledge does a Risk Manager need? The job description advertisement for UAF’s Risk Manager calls for contractual experience and knowledge of principles, practices and theories of applicable laws and legal principles. Perhaps this can be a topic if you find it relevant.


There are lots of "environmental laws" and, as a practical matter, many of our risk management decisions are based on the laws, or their interpretation by the enforcing agency, rather then by a scientific analysis. This is not so bad, if you really don't have any science to go on anyway. An engineer or consultant writing risk assessment reports and drafting risk management recommendation must be aware of all the applicable environmental laws, as well as the laws that will affect likely remediation scenarios, such as planning and zoning laws, fire codes, etc.

However it may be there is an overlap between the concept of "risk management" with which we have been working that relates to hazards due to chemicals in the environment and work done by an institution's "risk management department," who are interested in any types of risk that may impact the institutions finances. For large institutions like a city or university, who are self-insuring, the risk managment may be very proactive, trying reduce exposures. For example, the risk management may lean on the maintenance department to place more gravel on the sidewalks near buildings, to cut down on the possibility from lawsuits due to people falling on ice. In smaller institutions, which are not self insuring, the risk manager may only be responsible for insurance, filing insurance paperwork, etc. , and not very proactive.

Module 13 Index