What Is A Risk Assessment:
a risk assessment is a systematic method that an employer must carry out. this assessment is there to protect the employees as well as the business. in addition to this it is the law to have a risk assessment carried out.
a risk assessment is designed to either eliminate, reduce, or minimise the chances of a risk. it is part of the health and safety at work act 1974.
Difference between a hazard and a risk:
a hazard is something that could potentially harm you. for example a laptop charging cable across a floor is a hazard.
a risk is the consequence. it is something that could potentially go wrong due to a hazard for example there is a risk of tripping and cracking your head open if a laptop charging cable is spread across a floor.
5 steps of a risk assessment:
1 – identify the hazards:
this is when you search the entire work environment evaluating various objects and deciding what could be a hazard. take note of objects, tools, furniture, electrical equipment, materials used, liquids and environmental hazards.
2 – who may be harmed and how:
this is were you evaluate who might be harmed and how. for example; if the work space is a local park, a member of the public may be harmed by a cable running along the ground, where as if the work space is a town centre and there are explosives going of, a pyrotechnic is less likely to get hurt the a random member of the public.
3- evaluate the risk and decide the precautions:
this is wear you look at the risk and decide how severe the injurys sustained might be. you then look at what precautions could be made. then assess if the level of precaution are susceptible or does more need to done. look into wether or not the hazard can be eliminated completely.
4 – record your findings:
have some sort of scoring system, usually 1 – 5. this is for the level of severity of a injury as well as how much of a risk there is.
5 – review your assessment:
with work environments constantly changing it is important to review what your are doing on an on going basis, therefore risk assessments should be carried out every 6 months for the safety of workers and incase of inspection. this could be done by repeating step 1, asking the workers if they have noticed anything which needs to be looked at and by evaluation the precautions seeing if more precautions need to be taken or wether or not less restrictions are possible.
– if you do not complete a risk assessment your business can be shut down aswell as your company being fined.
– if an injury happens in your work space the employer is 100% liable and must compensate. you also risk being taken to court.
– if a death is caused by a malfunction in the work environment and no risk assessment has been taken, the employer could potentially be charged for murder and sent to jail.
– this could ruin the reputation of a company
the risk assessment is there to protect both the workers AND the employer incase an acident occurs in the work environment. the risk assessment can prove that the employer was not at fault and the injury occurred because of the worker or was simply an acident.