Assessing Risk

July 7, 2016
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Assessing Risk

When a hazard is identified, the aim is to eliminate the hazard completely; however this is not always possible.   There are many tasks, which contain a high element of risk, that are still essential e.g. Underground mining, crane operations, fire fighting. Where it is not practicable to totally eliminate hazardous work practices, the onus is on the employer to minimise the risk to an acceptable level.   In order to do this, there needs to be a method of assessing risk to determine the measures, which need to be taken.

Accurate Risk Measurements

The measurement of risk is not a totally scientific process however it should not be totally subjective either. The accuracy of risk assessment can be enhanced by the following factors:

  • The knowledge and experience of the person conducting the assessment
  • Consideration of previous incidents or accidents
  • Consideration of industry statistics
  • Consideration of current industry standards
  • Consideration of controls which are already in place
  • Obtaining expert advice if required.

A risk assessment allows project participants to:

  • Prioritise efforts towards the higher risk areas
  • Determine whether a risk is acceptable, or action is required to manage it
  • Re-assess risks, after controls have been put in place, to determine if the actions have been successful in reducing the risk to an acceptable level.

Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment

There are many forms of Occupational Health and Safety risk assessment covering the risks to people and property in the workplace. There are recommended methods for most risk assessments in the relevant Codes of Practice.

These include:

  • Hazard Risk Assessments
  • Plant Risk Assessments
  • Hazardous Substances Rick Assessments
  • Manual Handling Risk Assessments
  • Job Safety Analysis

Exner Group