Sunday, May 20, 2012
Risk Assessment in The Workplace. Part 3.
Step 4. Record your findings.
If you have less than 5 employees then you do not need to write anything down. Although you will find it useful to keep a written record of what you have done.
If you have five or more employees, then you must put in writing the significant findings of your risk assessment. This means writing down the significant hazards and your conclusions.
Examples might be something like:
Electrical installations: insulation and earthing checked and found OK.
Fumes from welding: local exhaust ventilation provided and regularly checked.
You must also tell your employees about your findings.
Suitable and sufficient, not perfect.
Risk assessment must be suitable and sufficient. You need to be able to show that:
a proper check was made,<br>
you asked who might be affected (at risk),<br>
you dealt with all the obvious significant hazards, taking into account the number of people who could be involved,<br>
the precautions are reasonable, and the remaining risk is low.
Keep your written record for reference in the future. It will help you if a Health and Safety Inspector decides to pay you a visit and asks what precautions you have already taken. Or if you become involved in any legal action for civil liability.
It can also act as a reminder for you to keep an eye on any particular hazards and precautions.
You should also make sure that any new employees read the documentation so that they are aware of what is being done.
To make things easier, you could refer to other documents, such as manuals, the arrangements in your health and safety policy statement, company rules and regulations, working instructions, health and safety procedures, and your arrangements for general fire safety.
You may already list these procedures elsewhere. You do not need to repeat all of them, but it is up to you how you wish to present the documents. You could keep them seperately or combine them all into one document.
Step 5. Review your assessment and revise it if necessary.
Sooner or later you are going to bring in new machinery, substances or procedures which may lead to new hazards. If there is any significant change, add this new hazard to your assessment. You do not need to amend your assessment for every trivial change, or for each new job.
But if any change, or new job, brings in significant new hazards, then you should consider them in their own right and do whatever is necessary to keep the risks down.
And finally, it is a good working practice to review your assessment from time to time, to ensure that the precautions are still working effectively.