Carry Out The Risk Assessment
It is the employer’s duty, under section 19 of the 2005 Act, to carry out the risk assessment so you should try to do it yourself while involving managers and employees as much as possible. Where the in-house expertise is not available, employ the services of an external competent person to help. Check that they are familiar with and have the ability to assess specific work activities. Involve as many employees as possible in order to encourage them to share ownership of the finished assessments.
Is There A Formula I Can Use To Assess Risk?
There are various qualitative and quantitative methods for carrying out a risk assessment. Choose one which best suits the organization. A generic format for carrying out risk assessments in tabular form is given in the Appendix.
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What Factors Affect The Level Of Risk?
Risk will depend on many, often related, circumstances:
- Who is exposed to the hazard?
- Is the hazard likely to cause injury to my workers or others?
- How serious would the injury be?
- Is the hazard well controlled?1
Guidelines On Risk Assessments And Safety Statements
If one uses dangerous chemicals, the hazards and the precautions will be listed on the label or the material safety data sheet. There may also be safety and health regulations, industry standards, and codes of practice or guidelines dealing with a particular hazard. For example, regulations require stopping controls to be provided at each workstation for machinery. Guidance on stop controls and emergency stop controls is available in the Use of Work Equipment Guide to the Safety Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations. Employers should use these to help assess the risks and to decide if existing precautions are adequate.
Is the level of supervision adequate?
- How long are people exposed? What levels of exposure should not be exceeded?
(These levels apply to chemicals, temperature, noise, heavy loads, radiation, etc.)
Who Do I Need To Consider?
Apart from employees (e.g. operators, maintenance personnel, and office staff) think about people who may not be in the workplace all the time, for example:
- Outside maintenance personnel
- Others (such as students in a school)
- Members of the public or people who share the workplace, if there is a chance they could be hurt by the work activities
Pay particular attention to staff with disabilities, visitors, inexperienced staff, workers who do not have English as a first language e and lone workers. If changes such as new plant, new working practices or new materials occur in the workplace, the employer must carry out a new risk assessment, implement any necessary improvements and update the safety statement accordingly. The risk assessments and any subsequent revisions must be brought to the attention of everyone affected by them.
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How do I assess the risk of traveling or multi-site workers?
The risk assessment and safety statement should relate to the place of work. Where workers will be working away from their normal base, the risk assessment and safety statement should address the type of work to be performed in that place of work.
It may not be practical to have the full safety statement or risk assessment at particular workplaces or certain work activities (e.g. at roadworks or working on a roof). In these cases, a simplified method statement or work procedure, which covers the risks at hand, is sufficient, provided that employees are familiar with their own safety statement.
The Authority has produced a Safe System of Work Plan to help supervisors and workers in the construction industry to carry out simple risk assessments for many types of construction work.