A Risk Assessment forms part of your safety statement and is a legal requirement under Section 19 of the 2005, Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act.
Purpose of a Risk Assessment
By law employers must identify hazards in the workplace and assess the risk presented by the hazards. The main purpose of a Risk Assessment is to reduce the risk of injury and illness associated with work. There are three steps to carrying out a Risk Assessment:
- Identify the hazards.
- Assess the risks.
- Put control measures in place.
A hazard is anything that holds the potential to cause harm in terms of human injury or ill health, such as work materials, equipment, work methods or practices, poor work design or exposure to harmful agents such as chemicals, noise or vibration.
A risk is the likelihood that somebody will be harmed by the hazard and how serious the harm might be. When considering this, it is also important to consider the number of people at risk from the hazard.
Control measures are the precautions taken to ensure that a hazard will not cause injury. It is also important to ensure that control measures being put in place does not create additional hazards.
Risk Assessments can be categorised as follows:
A Generic Risk Assessment is an assessment of common hazards. For example:
- manual handling activities
A Specific Risk Assessment is an assessment of high-risk work activities. Examples of these activities include:
- chemical agents
- display screen equipment (DSE)
- pregnant employees
- task-specific manual handling (e.g. inanimate load)
A Dynamic Risk Assessment assesses risk for employees in changing circumstances. Examples include employees who:
- work in environments with potential for violence and aggression
- work alone
- deal with heavy manual handling activities
Accidents can affect businesses through loss of revenue, damages, insurance claims and subsequently increased cost of insurance. More importantly workplace accidents and subsequent ill health can destroy life’s. Carrying out risk assessments, preparing and implementing a safety statement will help to reduce the likelihood of these accidents occurring.
Donegal Safety Services can assist you in development of Risk Assessments that reflect your business. We can identify control measures to reduce the likelihood of injury to reasonable practicable levels.