Understanding Risk Assessment
A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace.
Risk Assesment Terms
– Hazard – The potential for harm
– Risk – The probability that there will be harm (Coupled with the extent of such harm)
– Risk Control – Process for keeping risks acceptable including assessment and choosing precautions
– Risk Assessment – Identification of risks and comparing them with simple standards
Risk Assesment Process
– Understand the activity
– Identify the hazards
– Include what might go wrong – are precautions for these possibilities in place
– What is the probability of the harm occurring and what is its extent?
– Is this risk acceptable and low?
– What precautions are needed – are they in place?
– Is the risk acceptable when precautions are in place?
– Key part is the communication of the hazards and of the precautions specified
– Precautions need to be in place whenever the task is performed
– Assistance on this key step comes from:
– Using several people to consider the topic
– Use of checklists to prompt memory
– Learning from incidents
Risk Decision – form a view of the risk and compare to standards:
– Is this an acceptable level?
o Be wary of personal convenience swaying decisions
o Also be aware that level needs to be acceptable rather than minimised
– If not then need to address how to reduce the level
o Identify the additional steps to take
o Return to the risk assessment process and decide if the risks are now acceptable.
Risk Reduction Hierachy
– Remove / eliminate the hazard
– Reduce the probability of the injury occurring by physical means (e.g. engineering controls)
– Reduce this probability by using systems (e.g. administrative controls)
– Reduce the extent of any incident
– Reduce the damage the incident may cause if it happens (e.g. through use of PPE)
Risk assessment is a route to getting people / everyone to address safety risks for a task or activity. Risk assessment is not difficult but requires effort.
Source: Reed Consulting Bangladesh