5 DIY Steps to Take for a Good Risk Assessment at Your Workplace
Your employees, business, and the members of the public face dozens and hundreds of risks and hazards every day. It’s your responsibility to uphold and enhance workplace safety measures at any given time, and this makes risk assessment a vital safety management tool. It will help you identify the factors that could cause harm and if proper precautions have been put in place, hence what needs to be done to prevent harm. Read on to understand the practical DIY steps you can go about the assessment.
- Hazard Identification
As an employer, it’s your duty to assess the possible health and safety hazards at your workplace - physical, technological, chemical, psychosocial/mental, natural disasters, and biological hazards.
- Physical hazards include slips & trips, awkward postures, lifting, dust, computer equipment, machinery, and noise, among other hazards.
- Technological hazards include power outages and the loss of internet connection.
- Chemical hazards include cleaning fluids, asbestos, aerosols, etc.
- Psychosocial hazards include long working hours, bullying, excess workload, and oppression in the workplace.
- Natural disasters include earthquakes, flooding, fire, and hurricanes.
- Biological hazards include infectious diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, and foodborne illness.
You can proceed with the assessment by talking to your employees about the common hazards or by walking round the organisation. If you’ll need to access the roof, ensure to check for proper flat roof fall protection barrier for your safety as you traverse the roof.
- Determine Who Might be Harmed and How
Perhaps you have part-time and permanent employees in your workplace. You need to identify who of these employees could be harmed by the hazards above should they take place, and how they can be harmed. You need also to identify the hazards that could cause harm to the members of the public.
- Risk Evaluation and Decision on Control Measures
At this point, you’ve identified all the potential hazards and the potential victims both in your organisation and outside (including how they can be harmed). The next step involves determining the likeliness of the hazards occurring and their extent, then protecting the potential victims from any harm. You can work on removing the hazards completely or on controlling the risks to enhance the unlikeliness of injuries. Perhaps you’ll evaluate the risks to identify those that need to be prioritised before the others.
- Record Your Findings
Do you have more than 5 workers in your organisation? If yes, the law requires that you record your risk assessment process. This involves writing down the hazards found, people likely to be affected and how, and the mitigation steps you’re planning to take. In the plan, you need to show that you performed the actual risk assessment, including the control measures and that you involved your workers in the process. Recording your findings will form the basis for your future reviews of working practices. Plus, it will provide proof that you did carry out a risk assessment in your workplace.
- Review the Risk Assessment
Change is inevitable, and your workplace is not an exception. So are the risks and hazards involved. You’ll be introducing new processes, equipment, and workforce at some point; which means a new risk of a hazard introduced as well. This makes risk assessment a living process. Regular risk assessment review and necessary updates are important to stay on top of the new risks and hazards.
You need to have the relevant risk assessment training to be competent and skilled in conducting the process suitably and sufficiently.