How To Do a Risk Assessment
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In any job or workplace, certain risks exist. For some jobs, the risks are minimal, like carpal tunnel in office work, however, in other jobs, the risks can be quite large and/or quite commonplace. Mining, for example, presents risks to multiple workers quite often. The measurement and assessment of such risks can help indicate safety measures which mine owners and operators can take to help keep their workers as safe as possible. A mine owner could decide (or be required by law) to implement safety chambers for potential collapse every 20 metres, for example. Let’s take a look at how risk assessment can become a workplace safety tool.
How is Risk Measured?
Risk is a difficult factor to measure, because the factors being measured are often difficult to measure and/or predict. The individual factors to measure in risk assessment include:
- Potential loss
- Probability of occurrence
- Safety procedures in place
By examining these factors, a manager or owner can determine the total potential risk as expressed in dollars, individual risks, or population risks. These calculations can give a concrete number to business owners, auditors, and risk managers, and the numbers can help the managers/owners/auditors establish new safety management practices to counteract the potential danger.
How do I Conduct a Risk Assessment?
You can conduct a risk assessment of your own business by following these steps:
- Look for hazards: First, assess your work areas for any hazards that may exist. Thoroughly assess the entire area/building and each job as it is being completed. Find a good Risk Assessment Template. Record any areas in which harm could come to employees. Also, look through safety records for reoccurring problem areas, and talk to employees about any dangers they perceive in their jobs.
- Determine who is at risk: Second, determine who is most likely to be at risk. This may include employees in the area, employees who walk by the area, and any other persons who may traverse the area regularly. Often people unfamiliar with the work area will be more at risk than employees familiar with the work and the machinery.
- Assess the risk management procedures: Third, determine which risk management procedures are already in effect to counteract the danger. Assess the employee practices. For example, are they wearing hard hats in the drop zone as required?
- Record the information: Fourth, record all of your information. Double check with other employees that all hazardous areas have been recorded and that all procedures have been addressed.
- Review and implement: Finally, review all of your findings and implement any new or existing safety practices which need to be addressed. Periodically, reassess the findings and stress the importance of any safety procedures in which workers may be lax.
Risk assessment can be a difficult tool in safety management practice, however, using risk assessment can help you better quantify the risks available and likely in your workplace. Quantifying these risks can lead you to better risk management practices which will assist you in attaining or maintaining an accident-free workplace.