What is Risk Assessment?
From life’s smallest, most insignificant events to large, life-changing decisions, a risk assessment is a precursor.
The majority of risk assessments are unconscious.
If you happen to see a child, chasing a ball on to the road and a car is approaching, your mind is already doing a risk assessment of the outcome.
- Chance of the car hitting the child = HIGH
- Control Measure to prevent the vehicle from hitting the child = STOP child!
Some everyday life risk assessments may be more formal such as planning a holiday.
- Getting sick or hurt while on holidays = POSSIBLE
- Control Measure to ease the cost and access to better treatment = TRAVEL INSURANCE
A business risk assessment is different from most of our unconscious ones in that it must comply with health and safety legislation, is formal and pre-determined. Therefore, we must create them before sending workers to a job.
As a result, they can seem like a costly, time-consuming imposition on your business.
Risk assessment is a necessity in today’s world of business, and they must be accurate, relevant and up to date or they’re useless.
Let’s be clear on what a risk assessment is! BTW you might want to see this article on risk assessments.
Health and Safety – It’s all about HAZARDS.
A Hazard is anything that can cause harm to people or affect their health.
Hazards are the REASON for health and safety.
No Hazard Here? No Health & Safety Required Here!
A risk assessment is a method of FINDING hazards, assessing their risk (or the likelihood of them occurring and the consequences if they do). Next, working out how to eliminate or reduce the risk.
It’s HAZARDS that maim, hurt and kill people!
Identifying hazards, assessing their risk and controlling them is Health & Safety 101.
You don’t have health and safety management if you can’t identify known and potential hazards. It’s impossible.
Almost daily, in every country in the world, businesses are losing court cases because they either did not have a risk assessment or they DID have a risk assessment but it was not relevant to what was happening on the job.
Failing to monitor a risk assessment to ensure the controls were actioned or updated is also required under health and safety legislation. Thus, failure to action and update assessments results is the cause of numerous court actions.
When someone reports a hazard, it’s by the use of a risk assessment that we assess the likelihood and consequences of it causing harm and devise measures to either eliminate or reduce that risk.
See our blog article here which gets hazards and risk into perspective.
Ok, let’s outsource!
There’re plenty of businesses around that thrive by creating the perception that writing a risk assessment is hard work and time-consuming. Accordingly, for a substantial fee, they’ll promise to take the pain away.
Outsourcing creates a bit of a Pandora’s box because an outside source rarely knows enough about how your business operates or the many processes you perform daily.
Also, your whole Health and safety management has lost credibility with the very people it’s supposed to protect – your workers.
A smart lawyer will instantly see that this bears little resemblance to what actually happens on the job and they could easily prove that it was a weak attempt to protect your workers!
Nobody knows the jobs, tasks and activities of your business like you and the workers who do the job.
You need to include risk assessment as a business process. Furthermore, it needs to be RELEVANT. Above all, it needs to be real and reflect what happens on a job or process. Consequently, your workers will recognise authenticity and get behind it.
YOU and your WORKERS are the ONLY people who can make an accurate risk assessment of the tasks you perform in YOUR business!
What you need is a more manageable and straightforward process to make risk assessments easier!
Using Simple WorkSafe can help you.
Simple WorkSafe, through our many tools, can provide this level of management to your health and safety system.
Here’s how to create a risk assessment with Simple Worksafe’s Risk Assessment Wizard.
Step # 1 – Open the Risk Assessment Wizard
Open The Risk Assessment wizard from the menu bar. See # 1 in the image below.
Create a new risk assessment by pressing the “+” symbol in the bottom right corner. See # 2 in the image below.