Suitable and Sufficient Risk Assessments: 5 Top Tips
- Start by identifying the hazards – the things that could go wrong – and work out how they could go wrong. Think about how someone could be injured, for example if their hand could be crushed by a moving machine part. Record your findings.
- Establish the likelihood and potential severity of an identified hazard occurring. The more likely an injury could occur, and the more serious it could be, the more measures you will need to put in place to mitigate the risk.
- Identify and implement suitable control measures, aiming to remove the risk or at least reduce it. For dangerous machinery parts, for example, you would normally need to provide fixed guarding to prevent access, as well as training for staff on how to use the guarding correctly.
- Regularly review your risk assessments to verify they are still current, and also in the event of any workplace changes. Only develop method statements and safe systems of work once your risk assessment procedure is complete, and that you are sure you have identified all of the applicable hazards and know how you will control them.
- Make sure staff undertaking the risk assessments are knowledgeable about the work process involved, and that employees are consulted on their views. They may be able to tell you of any shortcuts that can be achieved that could ultimately be dangerous, for example the potential for staff to defeat interlocked guards on a machine.
Getting the risk assessment process right is not difficult, and it can make all the difference in preventing an accident from occurring. Check today that each of your assessments meet the grade.
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