Top 5 Reasons Why Risk Assessments Are Important –
Plain and simple, if you are not conducting risk assessments at work, you are breaking the law. Ensuring that “suitable and sufficient” risk assessments are conducted is a mandatory requirement under the, If your business has five or more employees, you are also legally required to keep a detailed record of all risk assessments conducted at work. In addition to that, industry-specific legislation dictates that your risk assessment should cover specific risks related to the nature of your work. For example, if your work involves handling hazardous substances, you need to comply with the and if your workers are exposed to vibrations you have to take into account, This is also applicable to the corporate environment where the apply. The reason why risk assessments are considered important enough to be so rigorously required by the law is that they are designed to keep people safe. Every workplace has its risks. Sometimes, those risks are more obvious than others. For example, if you work at heights there’s the danger of falling, if you work with heavy machinery, there’s the danger of harm due to a machine failure and if your work involves lifting heavy loads, you could develop serious back issues. In other environments, the risks are less visible. Take office work, for example. Sitting in front of a computer all day long may not seem that dangerous but it can cause a number of health problems including eyesight deterioration, migraines, chronic fatigue, as well as back pain. Dangers can be hidden in the smallest things, such as tripping on loose cables or burning your skin as you reach over a boiling kettle placed under the paper towel dispenser. Either way, it’s the primary role of the risk assessment to uncover all of these potential risks. Once you are aware of them and who could get hurt, you can take action to remove or minimise the hazards and protect the health and wellbeing of your employees, as well as anyone else who enters your workplace. In high-risk work environments, being unaware of the potential hazards people are exposed to can have fatal consequences. In 2020 -2021, in Great Britain died in workplace accidents, with the top causes being attributed to a fall from a height, being struck by a moving vehicle or being struck by a moving object. It’s impossible to say how many of these deaths could have been prevented if risks had been managed differently. At the end of the day, occupational health and safety is about much more than just compliance. Facing a deadly accident at work is an extremely traumatic event. This is why it’s important to assess health and safety risks in the workplace – it gives you peace of mind knowing that you have done everything in your power to prevent tragedies from happening. When an accident at work occurs, an investigation is launched to find out who’s at fault. Could you have assessed the health and safety risks better? If you have carried out all necessary risk assessments and you have all the documentation to prove it, you reduce the chances of your company being held liable for any harm sustained as a result of the accident. This could help you protect your finances and your business reputation. What’s more, under of, members of senior management can be held personally responsible for health and safety offences committed by their subordinates. If the law finds you to be in a position to control or change potentially harmful behaviour but you haven’t, then you could face jail time and hefty fines. This is why the responsibility to ensure risk assessments are conducted right should not be taken lightly. Providing adequate health and safety training is a fundamental part of any, How can risk assessments help with that? Well, they are a great source of learning material. Health and safety training are often generic which can make them inefficient. Also, if the material covered isn’t particularly relevant to the audience, the employees in attendance could feel disinterested which could then impact the results of the training. Using the learnings gained from a risk assessment at work can help you build a health and safety training plan that targets specific problems faced by your employees on a daily basis. This can not only increase engagement in the training process but also its perceived value by the attendees, which could then contribute to building a positive safety culture in the workplace.
- 1 Why is it important to assess risks in the workplace?
- 2 Why is it important to assess the impacts of risks?
- 3 Why is it important to monitor a risk assessment?
- 4 When should you do a risk assessment?
Why is it important to assess risks in the workplace?
The Purpose Of Risk Assessments Explained – Employers in every industry are legally required to protect employees, contractors, customers, and site visitors from harm under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. A crucial part of this is carrying out a risk assessment.
- The purpose of risk assessments is ultimately to improve workplace health and safety.
- A specific risk assessment process needs to be followed to identify workplace hazards and reduce or eliminate their risks.
- Risk assessments should identify hazards and risks, suggest measures for controlling risks as needed, and communicate health and safety information to workers.
You should record the findings of a risk assessment to achieve and demonstrate compliance with health and safety legislation. Related reading: learn the five steps to risk assessment, In this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:
- What is a risk assessment?
- Who can complete a risk assessment?
- Who needs to complete a risk assessment?
- How to download a free risk assessment template
- What are the four main aims of a risk assessment?
Why is it important to assess the impacts of risks?
What is Risk Assessment? What, Why & When for Health and Safety
A risk assessment is a legal requirement! – For example in the UK it is written in law and sits within the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 The law states that a risk assessment must be ‘suitable and sufficient’ and it should show that a detailed and through check of the process or task has been carried out and documented.
identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards) decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk) take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk
Assessing risk via formal risk assessments is just one part of the overall process used to control risks in your workplace. Risk assessments apply to all companies and self-employed people are required to show that you have considered health and safety risks in the workplace.
- Risk assessments are carried out to formally identify hazards or risks involved to employees and other when carrying out a task.
- This helps the employer put into place adequate measures to protect people form harm.
- But the importance of risk assessments goes beyond the fact they’re a legal requirement.
They shouldn’t occur simply to achieve compliance! Tip – Companies with five or more employees are legally obliged to record the findings of risk assessments.
What is the purpose and importance of risk assessment?
What is the Purpose of a Risk Assessment? – The purpose of a risk assessment is to ensure that a workplace is safe to work in and all individuals involved are appropriately protected from hazards. The process of a risk assessment involves firstly identifying hazards within a work place, and then subsequently implementing control measures.
Effective risk assessments are a vital way to keep your staff, and the public, safe from work activities. Our Risk Assessment course is designed to give you the information you need to write a good risk assessment. It looks at risks, hazards and control measures, highlighting the important information you need to identify risks and the appropriate measures to minimise them.
Employers have the responsibility to ensure that the workplace which is used by their employees, work associates and customers, is safe enough to work in. Risk assessments have the purpose of ensuring that the workplace is a safe place through a process of checks and balances.
- A risk assessment brings to light all hazards in the workplace and protects employees from these hazards by implementing control measures.
- Risk assessments have the purpose of effectively ensuring four aspects of health and safety requirements are maintained: 1) Risk assessments allow the prevention of occupational risks 2) Risk assessments provide information to employees, work associates and customers which otherwise would not have been circulated around the workplace.
This is because risk assessments highlight hazards and inform individuals of how these hazards have been effectively managed, to ensure individuals they are safe within their workplace.3) Risk assessment training will allow individuals in the workplace to be thoroughly educated and trained in their workplace’s health and safety procedures.4) Risk assessments will ultimately help an organisation to comply with health and safety requirements.
Risk assessments will create a culture of health and safety compliance as it demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to safety and protection. This will subsequently relay a message to employees and customers to comply and maintain this health and safety standard. If a risk assessment is not carried out, then the repercussions can be severe.
For example, if an employee is injured within your workplace due to them dealing with a hazardous chemical substance when they have not been protected with necessary protective wear, the employer will be held responsible. The employer may be faced with fines of negligence and this can be crippling. What will happen if a risk assessment is not carried out by an employer? The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, states in its Regulation 3 the necessity of conducting risk assessments. Failure to carry out a risk assessment, which has the purpose of maintaining safety in the workplace, will leave the employer liable for injury.
- An employer can be accused of being negligent, or for breaching their statutory duties.
- The UK case of Kennedy v Cordia (Services) LLP, exposed an employer being held liable for the injury of one of their employees in December 2010 in Glasgow.
- Miss Kennedy was a home care provider, visiting individual people’s houses, whilst being employed by Cordia (Services) LLP.
However, the risk assessment carried out by Cordia (Services) LLP did not take into account the footpath by one of Kennedy’s house visits, which was icy and resulted in Miss Kennedy slipping and injuring herself. This incident took place following weeks of bad winter conditions, yet the employer carried out a risk assessment which categorised the risk of slips or trips as ‘tolerable’.
- Following Kennedy’s incident the case was taken to court and Kennedy’s employer was found guilty of breaching the Management Regulations and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992.
- It was ruled that the employer had not considered providing its employees with protective equipment following some similar incidents which had occurred previously.
It is clear that as an employer you must ensure the purpose of a risk assessment is achieved and upheld in order to protect the workplace.
Why is it important to monitor a risk assessment?
How Important Is Risk Monitoring? – Simply put, risk monitoring allows companies to know the types of risks that affect their operations and bottom line, as well as which strategies best mitigate them. More specifically, risk monitoring in an organization:
- minimizes risk by identifying it and ensuring there are defenses sufficient to prevent it
- mitigates the effects of risk of various types by having procedures in place to take action once an event arises
- provides a clear picture of the risk landscape, which in turn allows the company to be proactive rather than reactive
- promotes accountability by recording and defining clear steps to mitigation
- creates transparency and inspires trust in staff and stakeholders
- utilizes historical events allowing you to learn from past failures to improve future mitigation
- allows for growth by minimizing losses to risk of various types, from natural disasters to fraud
What is assessment of safety and risk explain briefly?
A safety assessment is the systematic collection of information on threatening family conditions and current, significant, and clearly observable threats to the safety of the child or youth. The purpose is to determine the degree to which a child or youth is likely to suffer maltreatment in the immediate future.
- Risk assessment is the collection and analysis of information to determine the degree to which key factors are present in a family situation that increase the likelihood of future maltreatment to a child or adolescent.
- Many child welfare agencies use safety or risk assessment instruments to help workers assess families.
These tools can provide a structure for assessing current and future harm to the child. However, used alone they do not provide a comprehensive picture of the family or help engage them in problem solving. These tools are considered to be most effective when they are directly connected to service planning and monitoring ongoing progress of the case.
- Child Safety and Risk Assessments in American Indian and Alaska Native Communities: Research to Practice Brief Keating, Buckless, & Ahonen (2016) U.S.
- Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation Provides background on safety and risk assessments in child welfare practice, explores the importance of cultural appropriateness in assessments, and provides examples of Tribal communities’ adaptations of assessments to fit their communities.
Protective Capacities and Protective Factors: Common Ground for Protecting Child and Strengthening Families Capacity Building Center for States (2017) Discusses both the protective capacities and the protective factors frameworks and explores how to use them together to create stronger safety assessments and sharpened prevention focus in child welfare practice.
A free login is required to access this webinar. Safety and Risk Children and Family Research Center (2017) Examines the relationship between safety assessment and maltreatment recurrence in Illinois. Publications are updated annually. Showcase: Safety Outcomes and Decision-Making Approaches (PDF – 198 KB) Capacity Building Center for States (2017) Provides jurisdictions with information on models and approaches for targeting safety outcomes.
This showcase highlights several examples, including using decision-making models, such as the ACTION for Child Protection Safety Assessment Family Evaluation Model and Structured Decision Making; using practice models that incorporate safety assessments to support decision-making (such as the Signs of Safety practice model); teaming during different decision-making points; and using existing data to engage in predictive analytics.
Signs of Safety® Supervisor Practice Fidelity Assessment: Field Test and Evaluation Report Casey Family Programs (2016) Provides background information on the Sign of Safety® approach, which aims to conduct risk assessments and produce action plans for increasing safety and reducing risk. The report evaluates the degree to which the delivery of the practice adheres to the program model as intended and makes recommendations for practice improvement in order to increase safety.
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What is a risk in health and safety?
What is Risk? – When we refer to risk in relation to occupational safety and health the most commonly used definition is ‘ risk is the likelihood that a person may be harmed or suffers adverse health effects if exposed to a hazard.’
When should you do a risk assessment?
How often should a risk assessment take place? Published date 22 Sep 2022 The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says risk should be assessed “every time there are new machines, substances and procedures, which could lead to new hazards.” An employer should carry out a risk assessment:
whenever a new job brings in significant new hazards. If there is high staff turnover, then the way new staff do their work should be checked against the risk assessment, and training provided in safe working practices if necessary; whenever something happens to alert the employer to the presence of a hazard – for example, an unusual volume of sickness absence, complaints of stress and bullying, or unusually high staff turnover; in response to particular changes to the level of risk to individual employees – for example, where an employee returns to work after a period of long-term sickness absence; or Where an employee is pregnant or breastfeeding and their work might involve a risk to them or their unborn child’s health and safety. (Regulation 16, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999).
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action. : How often should a risk assessment take place?