A Risk Assessment is the process of identifying hazards in the workplace and analyzing the risks associated with it. By conducting a Risk Assessment, employers are able to pin-point work processes or areas in the workplace that may be detrimental to employees, clients, or guests, and allow the employers to establish methods of control, prevention, or elimination.
A Risk Assessment is an important part of a company’s method of management. For one, it is an integral part of a good and effective occupational health and safety management plan. Risk Evaluations allow employers to create awareness of hazardous objects or situations in the workplace, identify the people affected by these risks, provide measures of control, and prevent the occurrence of injuries or illnesses.
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Risk Assessments are conducted by doing periodic inspections of the workplace, particularly in areas that might pose a rate of threat or danger among employees. Another way to assess the risk factors of a workplace is by asking staff or employees of any potential hazards that they feel should be a concern to the company. This is a more effective method, especially since staff workers are more exposed to the work area than you are.
A Risk Assessment should be conducted with the presence of a Safety Representative. Safety Representatives are workers who are elected or selected for the role to represent the health and safety interests of workers within their work group for a person conducting a business or undertaking.
To be absolutely sure that all aspects of hazard-inducing processes are found, employers have to look into all aspects of the work process and procedures, include non-routine activities in the evaluation, include people who work off-site, observe the way the the work is organized or implemented, and include an evaluation of workers depending on level, age, persons with disabilities, or expectant mothers.
How to Effectively Conduct a Risk Assessment
Conduct Routine Checks for Risks
A Risk Assessment has to be consistently conducted in order for it to be fully effective. The factors that are hazardous in a work area can change over time, which is why routine check-ups and continuous inspections have to be made to benchmark your company’s standards in protecting your employees from potential harm.
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Determine the People Who Are Affected
Once you are able to pin-point the cause of potential harm or danger in the area, the next thing to do is to analyze and determine the group of people who might be directly affected by it.
You can start with full-time employees and then with part-time employees. Try to envision how these potential hazards can directly harm them. For example, in a grocery store, the check-out counter poses a higher risk than other work areas because of the possibility of spillage when hauling groceries from the cart to the counter or the risk of encountering irate customers and possible robberies. The people who are directly affected by these circumstances are consumers and cashiers.
Determine the Level of Risk and Provide Preventive Measures
For every potential hazard, employers also have to determine its equivalent level of hazard. Not all risks can be completely eliminated; however, it is important to figure out ways to control it or prevent it from causing harm to employees, clients, or guests.
When determining the gravity of risk associated with a hazard, employers have to rate it according to high, medium, or low levels of danger. Ranking or prioritizing the level of hazard enables employers to prioritize the prevention and control of the risk that immediately poses a threat to others. Measuring the risk level is usually established by taking into consideration the amount of exposure an employee has for accidents or injuries, the frequency of the exposure, and the probability of the occurrence.
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A Risk Assessment should be properly and accurately documented. Since a Risk Assessment is a continuous process, properly documenting the results and findings of a Risk Assessment allows employers and Safety Representatives to do a follow-up on the actions taken for a particular risk and find out if it was an effective course of action. Risk Assessment Forms and Assessment Forms allow employers to properly organize and note down the results of their Risk Assessment.
Review the Results of the Assessment
The final stage of conducting a Risk Assessment is to periodically evaluate the results and findings. Safety Representatives and employers should continue to see if the results of the previous Risk Assessments still hold to be true in the present, and if so, what could they have done to control the amount of risk that it constitutes. Companies are fueled by employees and smart business owners should know that the protection and security of their staff and their clients should always be a priority in order for their business to grow, develop, and succeed.
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