How to do a Health and Safety Risk Assessment
Risk assessments are the considered the cornerstone of any adequate health and safety management programme or system. All employers, regardless of the organisation’s size, industry, or nature of business, are required to carry out a risk assessment in the workplace and to keep a written record of that risk assessment.
Employers may often be put off by the idea of a risk assessment as they think that it is a process that is overly complicated, difficult, or unnecessary. However, this need not be the case if it is done correctly.
Risk assessments simply involve a close observation of the workplace or activities to identify what can cause harm to employees and visitors to the workplace and determining the control measures that can be implemented to minimise the risk of a harmful event.
This begs the question regarding how a health and safety risk assessment is done. It can be done in three simple and basic steps, which are outlined and discussed in the sections below.
Step 1 – Hazard Identification
Hazards are anything that has the potential to cause harm and in the first process, a walkthrough of the premises can be done, evaluating, and observing tasks and components to determine what can be considered a hazard.
Looking at the workplace and talking to employees may provide valuable insight, and employers may end up with hazards that they previously could not have imagined were present.
Hazards such as vehicles, machines, manual handling, and numerous others need to be considered.
Step 2 – Determine the Level of Risk
The next step involves evaluating the level of the risk. Some hazards may present high risk such as working at heights while others will have lower risks, which mean that the harm or the consequence will be less severe.
The prominent question when the level of risk is being determined relates to the chance of people being harmed and what the severity will be if an incident or accident occurs. Those who may be harmed must be identified and special consideration must be given to vulnerable groups such as elderly people, pregnant employees, those with disabilities or chronic illnesses, and so on.
Step 3 – Implement Control Measures
The last step involves how the employer is going to make the task or the activity safer for the employees and others who may be affected by the activities. Controls must be implemented for each risk and employees and all other relevant persons must be informed of such.
There may already be some control measures in place, and these must be checked for effectiveness in addition to deciding on additional measures needed.
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 85 of 1993, 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.
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.
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