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Posted August 9, 2019
With occupational health relying heavily on what is stipulated by your risk assessment, it is highly important to understand the basics of writing a thorough risk assessment. Required by law, a risk assessment should be carried out prior to a task which presents a risk to an individuals health and well being. It is important that you understand the difference between a hazard and a risk. A risk assessment is defined as:
“…a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm…”
Within health and safety management, a risk assessment is vital to reduce risks/hazards within the workplace to try and prevent harm to an employees health and well being; as it is used to record the measures required under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
There isn’t a fixed established way of how to write a risk assessment, however, there are guidelines that should be followed to enable you to cover all areas.
Hazards can be categorised into the following categories:
For these to be identified, a simple walk around the working environment and engagement with employees can help identify hazards.
Identifying those who are at risk from the hazards in the workplace is important in identifying the correct precautions to take. Those who could be at risk include:
After assessing the risks and those who are at risk of harm, an evaluation of the level of risk should take place; Along with precautions that can be put in place to reduce the risk level.
Whilst producing the risk assessment document, you must make a note of all the findings but focus the report on the appropriate precautions to take. In a constantly changing environment such as a construction site, you will have to also include anticipated risks/hazards. see example below a risk assessment example.
New hazards can occur on a regular basis, for example, new equipment, working procedures and introducing new chemicals can create new risks/hazards; Therefore a regular review of the risk assessment must take place.
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