Steps in Risk Assessment

Having finished hazard identification or hazard recognition work, the next step we shall do is to perform risk assessment. According to hse.co.uk, 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.

Risk assessment is used for determining priorities in risk control. It means that high risk work or situation will be addressed first and those with low risk level will be considered afterwards.

Now we are going to talk about steps in risk assessment. Follow these steps one by one and finish step 1 before going down to the next step.

Step 1
Perform Hazard Identification or Hazard Recognition

You may have finished your hazard identification. All potential hazards have already been recognized and recorded for each work area. But, if you have not done yet, you should start by now. Please refer to my previous post on how to do hazard identification.

Step 2
Determine Associated Risk with These Identified Hazards

Each hazard could harm workers, guests, temporary employees, contractor members or equipments. Determine exactly risks that are possible to happen, for instances skin irritation, cut, falling, trips, slip, hearing problem, respiratory system irritation, eye burn, property damage or even death. One specific hazard may introduce several risks. Just write down what are the possibilities.

Step 3
Write Down Hazard Controls that Are Already in Place

Just write down hazard controls that we have already prepared in the workplace to control the risks. Don’t write what we’re planning or what we are going to implement. As an example, to avoid chemical hazard during loading operation we prepare a procedure and instruct the workers to use personnel protective equipment.

Step 4
Evaluate the Risks

At this time, we should be able to examine the risk level for each associated hazard. Risk level examination can be done by making risk analysis matrix. Risk analysis matrix is done by considering its exposure, probability and possible consequences. Risk level is then related to risk score, which is calculated from exposure, possibility and consequence. Click here to see an example.

Or alternatively, we can compare existing hazard controls with good practices, standards or applicable government regulations (legal). Record any findings or deficiencies we find.

After passing the step 4, we should be able to know our priorities, which hazards require immediate precautions and more work to reduce the risks or even to eliminate them.

Step 5
Make Programs for Improvement and Implementation

In the last step we will make programs for improvement of existing risk control based on the priorities that we have made in the step 4 above. If the improvements take times to be implemented, then temporary or additional risk controls shall be provided otherwise these risk will cause harm.

Don’t Forget To Update

Risk assessment is same as hazard identification. They are ongoing processes that shall be updated regularly and or after any implementation of changes in procedure, plant layout, processes and etc. Make sure our risk assessments stay up to date.

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