Health and Safety Risk Assessment Definition

What is a Risk Assessment?

The simplest definition of a health and safety risk assessment is that it is a process, the start of a health and safety management approach that allows the employer and organisations put a proactive policy in place to manage workplace risks.


Hazards can simply be defined as anything that has the potential to cause harm, whether it is a situation, work materials, equipment, work methods, or practices.


A risk is the chance or likelihood, whether low or high, that someone may be harm as result of a hazard.

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Importance of Risk Assessments

Every year, there are numerous people who are injured in the workplace or they have their health harmed as result of health hazards present in the workplace. It is for this reason that risk assessments are crucial.

They are the key to ensure healthy and safe work environments and they help to ensure that employers are complaint with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, and all other relevant regulation and legislation.

What does a Risk Assessment Entail?

As per the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (OHSA) and numerous other regulations and legislation, employers are obligated to ensure that they provide a healthy and safe workplace free from hazard and risk to the health, safety, and wellbeing of employees, visitors, and anyone else who may be affected by the organisation’s activities or operations.

Health and safety risk assessments must form part of the Occupational Health and Safety Programme of any organisation. The aim of one is to reduce the risk of injury and/or illness associated with work activities and the work environment.

When a risk assessment is carried out, there are three steps involved:

  • Identification of the hazards.
  • Assessing the risks and their severity.
  • Putting control measures in place.

In summary, a hazard is anything which possesses the potential to cause harm in terms of human injury or ill health, including, but not limited to work materials, equipment, work methods and activities, practices, poor design of activities, or the exposure to harmful agents such as chemicals, noise, or vibration, to only name a few.

A risk is the likelihood that an employee will be harmed by a specific hazard, or a combination of hazards, in addition to how serious the harm may be. When considering risk, it is crucial that the number of people who may be at risk be considered as well.

Control measures are the precautions implemented to ensure that the hazard will not injure anyone. When they are put in place, it is crucial to ensure that additional hazards are not created by these precautions.

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.

MAKROSAFE have been assisting clients for more than 23 years with recommendations and risk assessments for a hazard-free environment.
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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.

Keeping your workplace legally Health and Safety Compliant may seem like a daunting task. At MAKROSAFE, we have an experienced team of OHS experts available to assist in keeping your company Health and Safety Compliant according to South African Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 and Regulations.
The MAKROSAFE Health and Safety Risk Control Package will assist you with your Risk Management Programme.
By signing up with our Health and Safety Risk Control Package, MAKROSAFE will assist you with your Risk Management journey.
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Posted date: 15th Apr 2021
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