Risk assessments are crucial processes in any workplace or where an event or task alien to the area, is about to take place. If you have workmen conducted a project on your site they may well have their own risk assessment procedures in place to secure the area around their tasks. However, as a business owner, or manager within a company, there are health and safety procedures and risk assessments policies that you can adhere to at all times in order to keep your employees and customers safe from potential harm.
There are five steps that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advise companies to follow in order to comply with a proper risk assessment in the workplace.
You have a duty as an employer to assess all the health and safety risks that your staff members face. There should be a systematic process to check for physical risks, mental, chemical and biological hazards. These can be areas that could cause slips and trips, potentially faulty computer equipment, bullying, long hours that can cause a mental strain from excessive workload, asbestos, corrosive cleaning fluids and myriad other potential hazards.
Once the hazards have been identified it is important to then figure out who is most at danger from each hazard. This includes whether your own full time and part-time staff are in danger, any contracted staff on short-term contracts, clients, suppliers and other visitors to your premises for any reason. Full review and analyse work routines for all different types of staff and see what consistent problems are showing and how they are coming about.
Formulate a Plan
Consider how likely each hazard could cause harm and determine whether or not a process should be put in place to reduce that potential risk. Mark each hazard that you’ve found as high, medium, or low and put together a thorough plan to battle each hazard. Added to that, you should also prioritise each process to reduce the risk of each hazard, as some are more likely to cause problems than others.
Be Dutiful with Note Taking
It is the legal process that any company that has five or more staff members have to record in writing their findings from a risk assessment. This should include all hazards that have been found, and how you plan to take action and reduce the risk at hand, or eliminate the risk entirely. This is legal proof that not only the assessment has been carried out, but that you have done everything in your power to remove those risks for the safety of your staff.
Conducting a risk assessment in your place of work should never be a one-time thing. Once you have analysed and worked through procedures to eliminate risks you should then consider regular reassessment of your premises. This is required in order to ensure that the new working practices continue to be applied where necessary and to see where new changes might be required.