SCOPE. The application of ORM basic concepts is not limited to unit or mission operations as the Coast
Guard usually defines them. All Coast Guard missions and daily activities, both on- and off-duty, require
decisions managing risk. In ORM "operational" refers not solely to a rated person or operator, but includes
any military or civilian Team Coast Guard member who contributes to the overall goal of increasing unit
effectiveness. All organizational levels contribute either directly or indirectly to operational mission
successes. From an Integrated Support Command or Naval Engineering Support Unit technician swapping
out a 41-foot utility boat's engine, to an electronics technician maintaining a group high-site antenna, to an
acquisition officer purchasing new equipment or services, to a marine safety officer selecting and deploying
pollution response resources, to an area staff planning a major operation or exercise, to a motor lifeboat
coxswain working a challenging SAR case, every command level and every person is responsible for
identifying potential risks and adjusting or compensating accordingly. Therefore, ORM's target audience
includes all those involved in operations, maintenance, and support activities. While risk assessment and risk
management concepts generally apply to all Coast Guard activities and decision-making, some areas require
additional tools and techniques. Regulatory and/or rule-making requirements need a more quantitative, in-
depth analysis than the techniques presented here. The Coast Guard Marine Safety and Environmental
Protection Program has made significant progresregard through the development of specific Risk-based
Decision-MaHowever, this Instruction's procedures do apply to the marine safetyprotection community in
managing Coast Guard members' safety and related issues asupplement rather than supplant the Marine
Safety decision-making guidelines.
PHILOSOPHY. Traditional risk management practices assert risk is "bad." In reality that may not be so.
Taking calculated risks is essential for an organization to grow and capitalize on its capabilities. The Coast
Guard's aim is to increase mission success while reducing the risk to personnel, resources, and the
environment to a level acceptable to a particular unit for a given situation. Units should identify risk using the
same disciplined, organized, logical thought processes that govern all other aspects of military endeavors.
ORM provides the framework to minimize risk, show concern for colleagues, and maximize the unit's
mission capabilities, helping to achieve the Commandant's direction, "Perform all operations flawlessly."
This process's additional benefits include safeguarding our members' health and welfare and conserving vital
resources and support equipment. As the Coast Guard continues to operate in a streamlined environment,
preventing mishaps and reducing losses become even more important to maintain mission readiness. To
accomplish these goals, the Coast Guard must change its business focus from a compliance-based to a risk-
based philosophy. No longer can the Coast Guard afford to simply audit its units to ensure compliance with
various requirements and regulations. ORM focuses on units' missions, the
risks involved, and the safeguards in place to ensure mission success. Beyond reducing losses, risk
management provides a logical process to identify and exploit opportunities producing the greatest return on
our investment of time, dollars, and personnel.
RISK TERMINOLOGY. Team members need to understand ORM terms clearly and communicate risk
effectively in order to use the ORM process. Understandably, each facility and activity will differ in how it
interprets risk assessment and risk management results in its own community due to unique mission
differences and its members' varying degrees of knowledge, skill, experience, and maturity. All personnel
shall use these common key terms when communicating risk across program and activity lines.