How to Do a Risk Assessment

It is vital for any workplace to know how to do a risk assessment. Risk assessment is a process in risk management where the possible causes of risk and hazard are assumed, and the methods to minimize or eliminate the event from happening are applied. The central thought behind risk assessment is to save the workplace and workforce from any mishap that may occur in the course of work.

Risk assessment needs to be done at every workplace, be it indoor or outdoor. The first step is to make a team of people who are familiar with the operations carried out in a specific workplace. This is crucial, especially for industries, construction sites etc. Even in case of hospitals and clinics, extra care needs to be taken, so that the steps taken for risk assessment do not interfere with any operational activities of the said premise.

Though the methods and the safety measures adopted for risk assessment may differ depending upon the size of the workplace, workforce, and operations of the unit, etc. still a basic set of rules can be followed to estimate the precautions. How to do a risk assessment is explained stepwise under the following heads:

  1. As mentioned earlier, evaluate which areas are the most prone to risk. Identify the mishaps that may occur. Follow the rule, ‘first things first’. Pay attention to things that deserve priority.  At the same time, do not leave out any area which seems comparatively safe. Always remember, accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere, and anytime. So it’s better to be safe than be sorry.
  2. Double check for every nook and corner of the office. Consult with your employees as what they think of that place. It usually occurs that they may notice, which otherwise goes unnoticed by you. Make a list of employees who may need special care. For example – handicapped employees, or expecting mothers.
  3. Make an action plan for every risk assessed. Communicate with each and every staff member regarding the risks assessed and the precautions to be taken in case of any mishap. Maintain proper records for every assessment and the safety measures along with it. Encourage the employees to learn how to do a risk assessment.
  4. With changing times, no workplace remains in its original form. Changes are bound to happen in the form of structural or technical alterations, or an overall renovation. Stay updated with any changes in the workplace, technology and other specifications which may require an extra effort to be covered from any risk. Any new machinery installed, or a modification in the structure can also call for an update in the existing action plan.
  5. Prioritize the areas that may call for frequent monitoring such as boiler plant, steel melting shops, top floor of any construction site, or even the kitchen in a hotel for that matter. Same goes with places like ammunition and fireworks manufacturers. Also, look out for places with high density of people. These areas are far more sensitive, so adequate measures need to be taken for maintaining safety.
  6. For any raw materials such as chemical or liquids like spirit etc. the storage and consumption terms should be asked to the supplier itself.
  7. Lookout for any incidents that have happened in the past. It will also be useful to take precautions, which will avoid similar incidents in future.
  8. Train your employees with all the equipments you wish to install, such as fire extinguisher or other safety equipments, which may need to be used at the time of an emergency.
  9. A bi-annual review of the risk assessment is advised, and if possible, a quarterly review is always beneficial.

To conclude, we can say that doing risk assessment is not rocket science. You do not need to be an expert if you are sure of the methods that you want to follow for risk assessment. There is no need to panic or worry if you have not yet gone through a risk assessment of your workplace. It’s easy and simple for everyone to know how to do a risk assessment which is mandatory to make the workplace a more safe and secure place to work.

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