WHS laws mandate that responsible bearers analyze and handle workplace risks, but how do you conduct an effective risk assessment? The assessment should be carried out by a professional person or team with extensive understanding of your workplace.
Supervisors and employees who work with the processes under evaluation are most likely to be familiar with day-to-day operations, so you should include them on the team or collaborate with them to gather data.
The goal of a risk assessment is to meet your WHS obligations by eliminating or controlling hazards where possible. Reducing and limiting workplace risks helps to:
By preventing and reducing the incidence and severity of occupational injuries and illnesses and their associated expenses.
Promote and improve worker health, happiness, and job capacity, as well as improve
work quality and productivity by encouraging innovation.
Identifying any dangers related to the process is the first step in producing a risk assessment. Starting with a visual evaluation of your workplace while considering what could cause injury, you can construct a list of jobs and dangers that need to be assessed. Consider the following:
How people work
How you use plants and equipment
The chemicals and substances you use can indicate
safe or unsafe work practices.
The overall condition of your work areas is.
You must also consider the requirements of vulnerable employees, contractors, visitors, and members of the general public. Young workers, migrant workers, and employees who do not speak English as a first language, pregnant women, and those with disabilities are all at risk.
Review all available health and safety information on the danger, including the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), manufacturer literature, information from trustworthy organizations, testing findings, and workplace inspection reports.
Finally, make sure you’re familiar with the industry’s minimum legal standards.
Consider how each hazard might affect your employees, contractors, visitors, or members of the general public. When doing non-routine chores, such as maintenance, cleaning, or changes in production cycles, keep in mind the changing work environment.
Examining your previous incidents and health data might also help you spot new and concealed dangers. The next step in generating a risk assessment is determining the level of risk, which is based on the severity and likelihood of injury. You must figure it out.
Who will suffer, and how will they suffer?
What measures do you put in place to mitigate the risks?
What additional steps do you think you’ll need to take to manage the risks?
Who is responsible for carrying out the acts?
when it is necessary to take action.
Step three is analyzing the risks you’ve identified and prioritizing actions based on your current controls. Any uncertainties, hazards, repercussions, likelihood, occurrences, scenarios, controls, and their effectiveness must all be considered. Remember that an incident can have several origins and repercussions, affecting various company objectives and regions.
Risk assessment matrices and heat maps are examples of tools that may be used to examine hazards and establish the highest-level dangers so that you can prioritize what to address first.
It’s crucial to remember that a risk assessment must consider not only the existing status of the workplace but also any potential possibilities.
You must constantly endeavor to eliminate this risk while creating a risk assessment. If this isn’t possible, you’ll have to reduce the risk by going through the other options in the hierarchy of controls. Step four is to successfully manage risks in your workplace.
If you can’t completely eliminate the danger and need to rely on other safeguards, you should consider:
Redesigning the job.
Changing out the materials, machinery, or method.
Organizing your work so that you do not come into contact with the materials, machinery, or process-implementing
Practical measures are required for safe work.
As a last option, apply administrative controls and personal protective equipment (PPE). They are, however, the least effective at risk reduction since they do not regulate the hazard at its source and instead rely on human behavior and monitoring.
Step five involves reviewing the controls you’ve put in place to ensure they’re working properly. You should also examine their efficacy while making changes to your work, such as hiring new staff, changing work methods, or introducing new substances and equipment.
It’s also crucial to keep track of any accidents or near-misses because they can reveal flaws in your control systems. You may need to add more controls or adjust the way you perform certain tasks. Also, following an incident, you may discover that what you thought was not a high-level hazard soon gets a higher risk rating.
The final stage is to inform everyone about the hazards that you have identified. They must have a thorough awareness of the existing risks and how to prevent or minimize them in order to achieve the organization’s goals.
It is vital that you do a risk assessment across your work areas to ensure that physical and psychological threats are adequately controlled. The goal is to keep your employees, contractors, visitors, and the general public safe.
A risk assessment consists of six steps: identifying hazards; assessing the risk; analyzing the risk to prioritize what needs to be addressed first; controlling the risk; reviewing the controls to evaluate their effectiveness; and communicating the risks to everyone.
Organizations have additional duties in this COVID-19 emergency to address the risks of disease transmission through their workplaces.