10 December 2018
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Risk assessment

Being able to assess any risks at your home or place of work is known as risk assessment. Essentially what this entails is doing your best to protect yourself and also cutting down the chances of accidents or mishaps taking place to you or to your colleagues.

Most risk assessment is observation and common sense, taking simple precautions will help to ensure no one gets hurt unnecessarily. Carrying out a risk assessment will involve you in examining your everyday work activities, and then doing a risk analysis and developing a code of practise to cut down any risks.

Of course by doing all of this you are also keeping within the law, specifically the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. According to this legislation you will be expected to take all reasonably practicable measures in protecting your workforce, as well as customers and suppliers who visit your premises. If all else fails you can always seek the assistance of a professional health and safety consultancy. An important point to remember is that employees also have obligations in the company and must comply with safety regulations. For instance if they work in a warehouse they must wear hard hats as well as fluorescent jackets, it should be made clear to them that failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.

The steps needed for a workplace risk assessment report

First identify the hazards
This is the first step in any risk assessment strategy. Do this by taking a look around the workplace, looking at the activities that are taking place there. Talk to employees, trade unions and managers to get their suggestions and ideas, involve them in the process. Give them risk assessment forms. Check the instructions on any machinery that is being used, then examine the machines location to ensure it is located and being used as per its instructions. Clearly identify those individuals who you feel are directly affected or placed in dangerous situations say for instance from chemical hazards.

Secondly analyze your findings
Sit down and review what you have seen, logically go through every scenarios and location and decide if anything can be done to lessen the chances of accidents occurring there. For instance in a kitchen or cooking area, is there a mop and bucket readily available to be able to mop up any spillages quickly. If not then any spilled material may be left there for someone to slip on causing them injury. Or you could do COSHH assessments, which stands for Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health and find flammable liquid is being left unattended or close to heaters or electrical items. In these circumstances you may need to develop a cupboard or secure storage area to store the flammable liquid.

Thirdly decide on what precautionary action to take
Following on from the second point the next step is to decide on a plan of action on how to minimize the risks you have discovered. Decide on what is the best good practise policies to implement to improve safety. Many of these could be simple low cost solutions that will stop serious injuries from taking place.

Fourthly write a report on your findings
After deciding on the best course of action you should now write a detailed report for senior managers to implement and put into practise. Try to make as easy to understand, concise and to the point as possible, showing how it complies with any Health and Safety Executive recommendations. Put in there your evidence proving that a environmental risk exists. Set a time frame as well as goals to be achieved.

Lastly regularly review the workplace
The final stage of any risk assessments should set a date to review your recommendations as well as the workplace, there are two reasons for this. Firstly it is to see if the safety measures that were put in place have worked, and not resulted in accidents themselves. Secondly it is to see if there have been any changes in the workplace, for instance a new office layout. If so this will need to do more care assessments and perhaps make reasonable practical adjustments.


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