Posts Tagged ‘risk assessment’
Importantly, it brings home just why risk assessment is an essential part of keeping the workforce and others safe.
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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provide guidance on various workplace health and safety topics.
This week I found an article on how to assess the risks in your workplace.
Five steps to risk assessment
This is not the only way to do a risk assessment, there are other methods that work well, particularly for more complex risks and circumstances.
However, we believe this method is the most straightforward for most organisations.
How to assess the risks in your workplace
Follow the five steps in our leaflet: Five steps to risk assessment
The Health and Safety Executive have various resources for managing health and safety in the work place, here is one which could improve your working environment.
This leaflet aims to help you assess health and safety risks in the workplace
A risk assessment is an important step in protecting your workers and your business, as well as complying with the law. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace – the ones with the potential to cause real harm.
In many instances, straightforward measures can readily control risks, for example ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip, or cupboard drawers are kept closed to ensure people do not trip. For most, that means simple, cheap and effective measures to ensure your most valuable asset – your workforce – is protected.
The law does not expect you to eliminate all risk, but you are required to protect people as far as ‘reasonably practicable’. This guide tells you how to achieve that with a minimum of fuss. This is not the only way to do a risk assessment, there are other methods that work well, particularly for more complex risks and circumstances. However, we believe this method is the most straightforward for most organisations.
You can view and download the document here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163.pdf
Providing managers and supervisors with a general background in the concept and importance of risk assessments.
Risk assessments are vital for protecting workers, businesses, as well as remaining compliant with the law. As a Manager, you have responsibilities for others and therefore need to focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace. These risks need to be prioritised and managed, especially the ones with the potential to cause harm.
According to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) “In many instances, straightforward measures can readily control risks, for example, ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip or cupboard drawers kept closed to ensure people do not trip. For most, that means simple, and effective measures to ensure your most valuable asset – your workforce – is protected.”
Definition of a Risk Assessment
A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures.
The Health and Safety Executive has prosecuted Thor Specialities Ltd as a result of a potentially fatal chemical reaction at its plant in Wincham, Northwich on 23 August 2007.
An employee at the plant had been mixing solid and liquid chemicals which eventually caused the release of both toxic and flammable substances into the workplace laboratory. The employee had continued to mix the chemicals together after mistakenly presuming that as there was no initial reaction to the mixing process that it was safe to continue doing so. However the chemical reaction suddenly got out of control and generated the hazardous substances into the working environment.
The chemicals had reacted so rapidly that it became impossible for the employee to bring the situation safely under control and he had to flee the building. There were no other employees in the laboratory at the time of the incident although when the alarm system was activated, another employee returned to the scene to investigate only to be forced to abandon the plant as a result of the cloud of toxic fumes.
A manufacturing firm has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for not creating a sufficient separation area between pedestrian workers and fork lift trucks at its site in Dorset.
On 9 March 2010 a worker at the company had both his legs and ankles broken when a fork lift truck reversed into him.
The company, Verplas Ltd., had failed to provide a safe zone of adequate size for pedestrians in the area in which the fork lift trucks were being operated. Health and Safety protocol dictates that significant measures be taken to ensure the safety of pedestrians and prevent the potential for accidents with fork lift trucks at the place of work.
In situations where employees are not warned of these kinds of dangers or are not provided with sufficient space and distance from the working area where the trucks operate, the risk level for these kind of accidents increases greatly. An effective risk assessment policy or driver safety programme could well have prevented the likelihood of the accident ever taking place.
The worker suffered a fractured vertebrae in his back, broken bones in his forearm and a broken thumb in the accident. The accident happened in August 2010 when the worker was employed by Ness Engineering Ltd of Shetland.
He was off work for more than 2 months as a result of the accident.
The project the employee and his colleagues were working on required the dismantling of an aerial mast at a former RAF base in Unst. The court heard that a risk assessment had been carried out by managing director Ronnie Leslie, which said that work should be done from inside the mast.
Unbolted pieces of metal and wood were to be loaded into a telehandler with a bucket attachment, so that they could be safely lowered to the ground. But when the four men on site, including Mr Leslie, encountered unforeseen difficulties in removing a four metre long metal section from within the structure, they deviated from the original work plan by using the telehandler to lift up to the area from the outside.
Barry Holt, IIRSM Director of Policy and Research, notes that with membership of the EU, we have seen the introduction of a range of specific sets of regulations which has been seen as a return to the pre-health and safety at work act days.
This has, in turn, led to calls for another simplification and the review of legislation being carried out by Professor Löfstedt’s committee.
Unfortunately, some of these calls have taken the view that UK standards are inevitably higher than elsewhere and that the review should focus on repealing those sets of regulations that originated in the EU. If this approach were to be adopted, we would risk losing some good legislation that effectively filled previous gaps. It is important that we don’t let the review be hi-jacked by a xenophobic outlook.
IIRSM is concerned that the review should reinforce the need for a risk-based approach which emphasises protecting life as the key objective rather than moving back towards a compliance-based approach. The requirement of risk assessment is inherent in all recent legislation although this has led to an ‘industry’ where assessments for each activity are seen as ends in themselves.
Using the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations as the focus gives an opportunity for simplification.
An “entirely foreseeable accident” led to the death of a demolition worker, the Health and Safety Executive has said.
Bernard McCarroll, 68, from Croy, North Lanarkshire, had been dismantling a hydraulic excavator at Whiteinch Demolition yard in Glasgow in May 2008 when a weight from machinery fell on him.
Health and Safety officers found that the firm had not properly risk-assessed the operation.
Whiteinch Demolition Ltd, of Centurion Works, Balmuildy Road, Bishopbriggs, was fined £15,000 over the incident after admitting health and safety breaches.
The court heard that a safe system of work had not been provided to those carrying out the dismantling. Insufficient information was also made available over the assembly of the excavator by the company.
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