Ingredients for a good risk assessment

Every workplace in Australia needs to carry out risk assessments in order to make sure they are compliant with health and safety regulations and workers are not being put in harm’s way.

So what ingredients go into an effective assessment process, and how can your business use these tools to keep workers safe?

The first step is to understand the risks within your business and consider how these can be managed. Obviously your business will not be able to remove every single danger to staff or the general public. However, understanding these hazards and taking steps to minimise them is essential for any risk assessment.

Once you know the challenges that exist within your workplace, the next task is to address these problems effectively. WorkSafe ACT suggest creating a risk matrix, which measures hazards based on the likelihood of them occurring and the severity of the harm should these accidents occur.

By plotting potential problems in this manner you can identify high frequency, high risk factors and minimise these first. Over time you can move towards hazards that are low frequency and only have a small chance of occurring.

Once you understand these risks, you will need to address any potential challenges. Begin by looking at ways to eliminate or substitute existing hazards for safer alternatives. This simple step can reduce a lot of the challenges associated with handling dangerous products.

If there is no way to eliminate or substitute these risks, the next step is to isolate these issues from your workers and utilise the right equipment to keep employees safe. A wide variety of equipment is available to help assist in keeping workers safe. This includes materials handling equipment, powered tow tugs, dangerous goods storage cabinets and platform ladders.

The final step is to keep monitoring the situation so that future issues are handled effectively. As your workplace takes on new projects and different materials, your risk assessment will need to change accordingly.

Getting these processes right is an easy way to ensure that your workplace is compliant with health and safety laws and that your staff remain secure in their everyday responsibilities.