Everyone (including contractors) has an obligation under the Health and Safety law in terms of risk assessments – so it is important to remain up to date!
There are five steps that should be thought about when writing a risk assessment;
- Identify hazards – anything that could cause harm.
- Decide who could be harmed if something happened.
- Assess the risk and take action.
- Make a record of findings.
- Review the risk assessment.
Are there risks that may occur on site?
Physical: Lifting heavy or awkward objects, slips or spills, loud noise, machinery.
Mental: Long hours, excessive workload, bullying.
Chemical: Cleaning fluids, asbestos.
Biological: infectious diseases faced by healthcare workers.
Who could be harmed?
Within different areas of the site are there different people that could be affected? Would this be the person carrying out the work, or perhaps visitors to the site, or other workers who are there?
Consider young/older workers, disabled people, night workers or pregnant women.
Assess the risk
Take each risk that you have found and assess how likely this is to happen and what harm could be caused by each risk. This will allow you to reduce the risk if possible. Each risk can then be classed as high, medium or low risk.
Make a record
If you have five or more employees, the main findings must be put in writing and should detail the hazards located and what structures have been put in place to reduce risk.
The risk assessment is a working document and should not be locked away – it should be on hand at any time. It is also the record that an assessment has been carried out which could be used later on to assess working practices.
Review the risk assessment
The report must always be available and able to be updated regularly to keep up to date with changes made whilst working or when situations change on site. It is used to take account of changes in working conditions, new machinery or any new working practices.
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