Health and Safety Risk Assessment Checklist
All health and safety risk assessments must cover all work activities and there must be a health and safety risk assessment checklist to ensure that the risk assessment is carried out effectively, ensuring that everything and everyone relevant is covered.
All employers, whether they are self-employed workers, contractors, or owners and CEOs of larger organisations, are legally required to assess the hazards and risks to the health, safety, and wellbeing of employees, and anyone else who may be affected by their work activities.
Self-employed people who carry out any activity that may pose a risk or threat to the health, safety, and wellbeing of others, or is of a ‘prescribed description’ which includes agriculture, construction, quarrying, mining, and other activities, must protect themselves and others from risk.
Employers must consider all their employees, but pay special attention to risks to:
- Young employees.
- Expectant mothers
- Employees who have chronic conditions and/or disabilities.
- Members of the public, and others who may be vulnerable.
What must be done prior to a risk assessment?
Employers as well as relevant self-employed people must take the following into consideration before a risk assessment is completed:
- The appointment of a competent person to carry out the risk assessment.
- Whether there is anyone in the organisation that possesses the required skills and competencies and whether it is needed for an external health and safety consultant or professional to be appointed.
- Whether everyone who may be at risk in the workplace, or who may be harmed by work activities has been identified and whether how or why they are affected is understood.
- Whether the organisation has employees who work from home and if so, whether the risk assessment also covers their work environment at home.
What must be included in the risk assessment?
Place of Work
The following must be asked:
- Whether anything is preventing easy access to and exit from the workplace.
- Whether there are any obstructions to walkways and/or the fire escape routes in the workplace.
- Whether there are any slip, trip, and/or fall hazards that can be identified.
- Whether the building structure is sound, both internally as well as externally.
- Whether there is any risk of falling objects from anywhere, both internally and externally.
- Whether liquid and gas piped into the building are in good state of repair, where applicable.
- Whether there is adequate security provided both in and around the premises.
- Whether there is adequate, secure door locks and a door entry system.
- Whether there is a working intruder alarm system and whether it is tested frequently.
- Whether there are any security issues that may cause harm.
The following must be considered:
- Quality and flow of air, adequate ventilation, and air conditioning.
- Issues with humidity and dry air that may lead to static shock, dry skin, and/or respiratory issues.
- The level and quality of illumination during the day and night.
- Whether stable and reasonable temperatures can be maintained.
- The level of noise.
- Hot or cold surfaces or liquids that people may encounter that could lead to burns.
- Adequate hygiene and cleanliness.
- Competency of employees and contractors to carry out their duties.
- Physical fitness of employees and the absence of known infectious diseases.
- Communication of good health and safety practices along with warnings of known hazards.
- Whether expectant or breastfeeding mothers who are employed have adequate and suitable facilities.
- Employees with disabilities and chronic conditions who may have special, specific requirements.
- Staff who suffer from visual display unit-related eye strain or headaches.
- Repetitive strain injuries or work-related upper limb disorders.
- Any musculoskeletal injuries which relate to manual handling issues or the position of work equipment such as chairs and desks as result of employees’ posture.
- Whether any staff suffer from respiratory or breathing problems.
- Risk of employees contracting food poisoning or ingesting hazardous substances.
- Employees who may suffer from skin sensitisation, rashes, or dermatitis.
- The availability of first-aid kits on site, a designated first-aider, and the list of emergency contacts.
- Whether a visual inspection has been done on all electrical main points and extension leads.
- Interconnected extension leads which are in use which must be removed.
- Fuses in main distribution boards, their condition and frequent inspection.
- Whether all employees, contractors, and visitors are aware of the fire safety guidelines.
- Whether all employees are aware of emergency contacts in the event of a fire.
- Full practice drill frequency and compliance.
- The combustible materials, waste, or flammable liquids that are stored on site.
- Risks involved with electrical overload, short-circuits, or sparks from electrical equipment.
- Gas central heating boiler service frequency.
- Storage of equipment in a stable manner.
- Whether equipment is fit for the purpose and inspected regularly for faults.
- Regular inspections on electrical items such as computers, appliances, and others, for faults.
- The existence of trailing cables or leads across floors or under desks.
- Awareness of employees regarding health and safety issues relating to the use of stepladders and inspections on ladders for stability.
- Guidelines on lifting and manual handling issues and inspection/observation of such activities to ensure compliance.
- Safe storage of cleaning agents.
- Are employees provided with the relevant PPE to handle dangerous substances.
- Risks arising from fumes, gas, or carbon monoxide.
Evaluating risks and implementing control measures
When risks are evaluated, it is important for employers to decide whether the controls that are currently in place are effective, or whether further action is needed. When evaluating risks, the following must be determined:
- Whether existing procedures can be changed if they are hazardous.
- Whether access to the hazard can be prevented.
- Whether exposure to the hazard can be reduced.
- Whether risks can be reduced through the issue of PPE.
In addition, employers must also ensure that:
- Control measures meet legal requirements.
- Control measures comply with recognised industry standards and practices.
- Control measures represent good practice.
- Control measures reduce risks as far is reasonably practicable.
- Adequate instruction as well as training has been provided and that employees undertake mandatory certifications and refresher training if they work with hazardous substances.
- Adequate systems as well as procedures have been implemented to minimise risk.
Employers must ensure that the keep record of risk assessments and that the following is documented:
- Significant hazards identified.
- Existing controls that are in place.
- Risks that are not controlled and where action has been taken to resolve issues.
- Details of employees as well as groups of people who fall into high-risk categories such as pregnant women, young workers, employees with disabilities, and several others.
- Any important conclusions that were reached during the risk assessment.
It is also important for employers to set a date for the risk assessment to be reviewed and revised. It is also imperative to consider that when changes occur in the processes, procedures, environment, or activity, that the risk assessment be reviewed to ensure its effectiveness.
How does SafetyWallet support its subscribers?
SafetyWallet, in partnership with MAKROSAFE and OHS Online, ensures that subscribers can obtain the highest level of compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, all other Regulations, and more.
Through the assistance and support in the health and safety programme of the subscriber, SafetyWallet helps subscribers with the health and safety risk assessments that must be conducted to ensure that subscribers are compliant in providing a healthy and safe working environment.
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