Dignity of risk

Working with dignity

As an organisation that supports people with disability in employment we often have the best of intentions, trying to eliminate all risks in the workplace. However allowing individuals to take risks and step into the unknown is part and parcel of treating people with disability as dignified adults. This is not equivalent to encouraging recklessness; allowing risk does not mean being unsafe or setting people up to fail. Nor is it exclusively about manual handling or factory work we maybe excluding people based on operational risks in administrative, supervisor or creative job roles. Dignity of risk is more about avoiding stereotypes and discriminatory attitudes that can make this even more difficult for a person with disability to be seen as a person.

Rather, we should be striving to support individuals into prudent risk-taking, by utilising every training opportunity, before automatically excluding someone from a job task, overly simplifying or insisting on superfluous procedure, PPEs and guarding. Through prudent training and supervision we can assess risk on a case by case basis where dignity, training and trust are first choices before imposing other limitations, barriers or costs.

With this we can bring meaning into peoples' lives by providing people with disability every practical opportunity to try new things, test their limits, and discover capabilities they never knew they had. We will help to achieve goals that enrich lives.

Anyone who leads a life of dignity and meaning takes risks. Each of us, in the pursuit of jobs, our personal and romantic relationships, our leisure activities, and our adventure, has stepped into the unknown and risked failure, rejection, and even our physical well-being. Anything any of us have ever accomplished has come from some level of risk-taking. The benefits of succeeding in these situations, or from learning from our mistakes are a crucial element in our development as independent people.

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