- 27th November 2017
- Posted by: hctrainingadmin
- Category: Our News, Risk Assessment
Risk assessments are important in order to ensure good health and and top notch safety management. If you are an employer, you are legally required to carry out a risk assessment in the work place, regardless of the size of the business. You must keep a written record of each assessment.
Don’t let the idea of risk assessments being complicated or unnecessary put you off doing them.
A risk assessment is really just analysing your workplace and outlining possible causes of harm or injury to your employees and visitors. Once these potential risks have been determined, you must then determine and implement controls that will help measure and minimise the risks.
How to do a Risk Assessment: Three Basic Steps
Step 1 – Identify Hazards
Start by looking at and identifying “hazards” that are at your workplace. A hazard is simply anything that can cause harm to you or your employees. “Where can people come to harm?” Don’t overcomplicate the process. Take a good look at your workplace and the work that you are doing there. What you are looking for are the situations where people can be harmed (e.g. hazards such as vehicles, machinery, manual handling etc.). This can include people other than your employees. Look at how you get around your workplace, is there safe access? Look at how you carry out the work, how can you be harmed? There is no need to consider every minor hazard or risk which we accept as part of our everyday lives. For example, you do not need to identify the lifting of a 1kg package as a workplace hazard; but lifting a 25kg box of 1kg packages would be a hazard.
Step 2 – Determine the Level of Risk
Next look at the level of risk. Some hazards will be high risk, e.g. working at height. Other hazards will be a lower risk, because the harm may be less severe. “What is the chance people will be harmed and how serious could the injury be?” Decide who could be harmed and how and give consideration to vulnerable groups (e.g. young persons, the elderly, pregnant employees, shift workers etc).
Step 3 – Put in Controls and Inform
Decide what you are going to do to make the task or activity safer for you; your employees and other people around you. Implement the controls and then tell your employees! Your control measures are the most significant part of the risk assessment, as they set out the steps that must be followed to protect people. Some control measures may already be in place. You will need to decide if additional measures are needed. Risk assessment will help you prioritise the high risk hazards first.