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Whether you are an employee or an employer, you will be at work a lot of the time and it is important that we take care of our health and safety at the workplace too. It is a duty of an employer to ensure the health and safety of their employees.
Each industry poses some level of health risks for its workers. With a health and safety risk assessment, we identify potential issues affecting the workers and help you in identifying how safety risks impact your business.
The purpose of a health and safety risk assessment is to systematically identify anything that has the potential to result in danger for people including employees, contractors, visitors, customers and the general public. Risk can be any undesirable outcome including bodily harm, legal or regulatory liability or loss of property and productivity.
The recent pandemic has highlighted the importance of health and safety at the workplace. In such times, employers should make every reasonable effort to ensure the overall well-being of their employees by making the workplace Covid-secure.
What Is A Risk Assessment?
A risk assessment is a part of the risk management that includes management of health and safety at work regulations. In other words, a risk assessment is a process of identifying the existing hazards and examining their potential to harm the surrounding.
How Many Types Of Safety Risk Assessment Are There?
There are multiple types of health and safety risk assessments depending upon the nature of work and the risk factors it poses. So the kind of risk assessment required for a workplace totally depends on operational activities taking place at the workplace.
Here Is The List Of Some Of The Most Common Types Of Risk Assessments –
→ Fire Risk Assessment –
Fire risk assessment ensures that all the measures are in place to prevent and fire-safe the workplace with a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment.
→ Manual Handling Risk Assessment –
Manual handling Risk Assessment should be carried out when employees are at risk while they need to lift, carry, move loads.
→ DSEAR Risk Assessment –
DSEAR Risk Assessment examines the presence of dangerous and explosive substances at the workplace that risks the business and people around.
→ Noise Risk Assessment –
Noise risk assessment helps you in minimizing and preventing the harmful effects of heavy noise at your workplace.
→ Workplace Exposure Monitoring –
Workplace monitoring is an overall assessment of your workplace and identifying the potential risk followed by its preventive measures.
→ Legionella Assessment –
A Legionella risk assessment is a technical assessment that includes both physical and administrative components. To ensure compliance and safety, it should be carried out by an experienced individual with the appropriate credentials.
→ Occupational Health Screening –
As the name suggests, occupational health screening is an assessment that examines the capability and overall health state of a person to carry out the given tasks.
→ HAVS Assessment –
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome Assessment identifies and prevents life-long harming effects of using heavy and vibrating machines. Over exposure of these tools/machinery could affect the health of your employees. We can help with your processes and procedures to make sure you are compliant.
Your business may choose to go with a Risk Assessment Method Statement (RAMS) with the nature of operations being carried out. RAMS contains detailed information on the hazards and step-by-step procedures on how to complete work and control identified risks. RAMS is generally used in the construction industry.
Fundamentals of the Risk Assessment Process
1 – Use A Good Risk Assessment Template
Using a good template should give a detailed approach on how to complete the risk assessment form, ask the right questions and prompt you as to what hazards you are likely to need to assess. It will also be good so that you don’t have to start from scratch. Take a look at this risk assessment template which is free to download.
2 – What If It Comes In As High Risk?
Simply put, you will need to keep adding additional control measures until the risk is reduced to be more acceptable. If, however, this is not possible, you may need to introduce a Permit to Work that will add very strong supervision of the task.
3 – Will I Be To Blame If The Risk Assessment Is Wrong And Someone Gets Hurt?
No, this is a common misunderstanding. Unless of course you know it’s high risk or unsafe and plans to do it anyway which is a completely different story.
4 – A little info on “Competence”
Provided you know the job well and understand what hazards could exist, you can apply a common-sense approach to most day to day activates being risk assessed.
The need for a specialist comes in if the task is different to what you are comfortable doing, high risk or a specialist subject such as explosive atmospheres. In that case, yes, a specialist is likely needed.
5 – How Often Should Risk Assessments Be Reviewed?
Typically, every 1 to 2 years for well-controlled common tasks. For higher-risk tasks 6 months to 12 months is common and where it’s a new process, 3 to 6 months is common.
Of course, if anything happens that makes the risk assessment come into doubt such as complaints from those doing the job or an accident, then it should be reviewed immediately.
6 – Once I Have Done The Risk Assessment, How Do I Get Help To See If It’s To A Good Enough Standard?
As mentioned, using a decent form is a good start and then asking your line manager or the Safety Officer for any bits that need help. If you are the line manager or don’t have a safety officer, feel free to get in touch.
7 – It’s All A Bit Too Much For Me – How Much Does It Cost For A Specialist To Do This For Me?
A one-off risk assessment can be completed for something in the region of £200, this would include approx. half a day worth of site visit and writing the Risk Assessment.
That said, it is normally a good idea to get more for your money and look at all of the risk assessments in one project which could be for as little as £50 per risk assessment.
It’s not always a good idea to buy an online version or have someone do it from a distance and send it to you. Be careful of this because it can sometimes be a bigger problem further down the line.
Why Are Risk Assessments Important?
Carrying out a risk assessment is a legal requirement across the U.K. as it is the primary management tool in effective risk management. Carrying out suitable and sufficient empowers your business functionalities significantly. Risk Assessments should be carried out frequently and whenever the nature, place and tasks of your business change. They are a fundamental part of your health and safety policy and to make sure you are compliant and taking your health and safety policy seriously.
What Are The Main Purpose Of Risk Assessment?
The main purpose of risk assessment is as mentioned below –
→ To identify and examine health and safety hazards presented at the workplace,
→ To examine the effectiveness and suitability of existing control measures,
→ Ensuring additional control measures are in place to control the risks,
→ Prioritize further resources in case of any emergency.
When To Carry Out A Risk Assessment?
A risk assessment must be carried out before a particular kind of task takes place at the workplace to eliminate, reduce and effectively control associated risks to the health, safety and wellbeing of people involved with the tasks.
Moreover, a risk assessment should be carried out periodically or when there is a significant change in the workplace. If there is an accident, incident or ill-health event, a risk assessment should be carried out immediately.
Get The Best Health And Safety Risk Assessment For Your Business –
Orbis Environmental and Safety is one of the most well-known and reliable Health and Safety Consultants in the U.K.
Employers are responsible for the health of their employees as employees are valuable assets for any business.
Health and safety risk assessments are a way of ensuring that employees are fulfilling their obligations to their employees by minimizing the risks to their health.
It is advisable for employers to choose a competent health and safety service provider and to ensure that assessments are carried out aligning with the latest laws and regulations of health and safety standards.
Whether you are a big business or a small one, we have bespoke solutions for your health and safety.
At Orbis Environmental, we make sure that you have an appropriate assessment for your business and premises. We work closely with our customers to help them be the best that they can be as a responsible employer, whilst making sure they have claims defensibility covered.
Hopefully, this is all useful and sets you up with the basics. There is always plenty of help available for those willing to ask. I am happy to talk through anything and can be contacted via email at [email protected] or by phone at 01656 470 044. There is no charge for general advice.