Risk Assessment is a process by which the risks of work activities are assessed and controlled. Risk assessments are required by law before an activity begins. They are the responsibility of the manager/supervisor of the procedure creating the risk.
The task of risk assessment may be delegated to a person who possesses the necessary skills to carry it out and understands the risks; however, the manager/supervisor remains responsible for the findings and implementation of the assessment.
Any assessment carried out by a student must be endorsed by their supervisor (indicated by their signature).
A “Hazard” is something that has the potential to do harm. “Risk” is the chance of that hazard being realised. All significant foreseeable risks must be assessed. In order to prevent foreseeable risks causing harm, adequate controls must be put in place. The process is as follows;
- People at risk from the hazards must be identified. Consider, for example, the experience, age & expertise of those involved.
- The location of the work be identified and stated.
- The foreseeable hazards posed by procedures, chemicals & working environment must be identified
- Adequate controls must be put into place and implemented to prevent or reduce risk to individuals. Controls must eliminate, reduce, isolate or contain the hazard. PPE is used as a last resort.
- The assessment must be signed and dated by the person responsible for generating the risk. These staff members must ensure that the work is covered by a safe system of work that is monitored to guarantee that the risk assessment controls are effective.
- Risk matrix figures can be inserted as required
Risk assessments are working documents and should be available to people to consult in the course of their everyday activities.