A Risk Assessment is an important part of any job – but many seem to find them a pain to do – just part of the red tape we all need to do. So what happens is people rush to get them “out of the way” and then never give them a second thought – until an accident happens of course!
In reality a risk assessment is probably the most important of the job if you value the safety of everyone involved in the task. A risk assessment should not just be done to tick a box – it should be done not only at the start of the job but reviewed regularly to ensure all bases are covered.
A good risk assessment will not only identify each hazard but rate its risk and severity. A list of controls should also be included to help reduce the risk. The controls are simply measures taken to avoid an accident and could be as simple as “wear protective clothing”.
An important point to consider here is that the risk assessment should not just cover the people doing the work – it may need to include measure to protect those in the vicinity of the work. Perhaps there are fumes to worry about, dust or falling objects.
Any Permit to Work requirements should also be identified in the risk assessment during the planning stage, in addition to identifying specialist assessments of scaffolding, insulation, pressure testing, COSHH etc. All the documents associated with those assessments should ideally be attached to the risk assessment to form a pack to use at the workplace which allows easy reference for the operatives.
If any permit to work documents are required then they should also re documented. In addition any specialist assessments should be included – maybe COSHH or scaffolding which are common examples. These can be included with the risk assessment to form a pack.
So how do you feel about risk assessments? If you would rather be doing other things with your time and want to know that your assessments are completed professionally then you may wish to outsource it or use a new service called B Safe Online which we are setting up. Click here for more information on our Risk Assessments.