Who can Write Risk Assessments
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It is the employer’s responsibility, under section 19 of the 2005 Act, to conduct a Risk Assessment you should try to do it yourself while involving your managers and your employees as much as possible.
Where the in-house expertise is not available, you can employ the services of an external competent person to help. You must ensure that they are familiar with your work activities, and have worked within this sector before and can assess specific work activities.
If you work within the construction industry, you can always enlist the services of your RIBA chartered architect.
Who can Write Risk Assessments For Construction Sites?
A chartered architect will have extensive knowledge of the construction industry and is competent and qualified to conduct a risk assessment of your construction site or building project.
When conducting a risk assessment, try to involve as many employees as you can to encourage them to share ownership of the completed assessments and to make them aware of any risks or hazards in the workplace.
Managers and employees might also have spotted some risks or hazards that you are not aware of, do their input can be invaluable.
What is a Risk Assessment?
Risk assessments are part of your risk management process, and they are included in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
A risk assessment is a process that will identify what hazards or risks currently exist or may appear in your place of work. A risk assessment defines any workplace hazards that are likely to cause harm to you, your employees, any visitors to the workplace or the public.
When to carry out a risk assessment?
A sufficient and suitable risk assessment must be carried out before a particular task or activity is carried out. It will reduce, eliminate or suitably control any associated risk to the safety, health and wellbeing of any persons involved with or that might be affected by the activity or task involved.
Once completed, a risk assessment must be reviewed periodically; this is proportionate to the level of the risk involved.
It also covers you if the current risk assessment is either no longer valid or if there have been any significant changes to the specified task or activity.
Current and relevant risk assessments should always be reviewed in the unfortunate event of an accident, incident or ill-health event. A review of your risk assessment will verify if levels of evaluated risk or control measures require any amendments.
What Does a Risk Assessment Include?
All risks should be considered within all aspects of the working environment. Listed below are some examples of risks and hazards that should be included in your risk assessment.
Hazards: This includes fire safety, manual handling, electrical safety, hazardous substances and risk factors for repetitive strain injury, violence and stress.
Tasks: Included in this section are employees cleaning with chemical substances, any maintenance work they carry out or dealing with the general public.
Organisational Factors: This section would include any staffing policies, equipment-purchasing policies, participation and consultation, systems of work, working hours, lone workers, shift patterns and management techniques.
How to carry out a risk assessment?
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) recommends a five-step process for completing your risk assessment. Listed below is a checklist to follow to ensure your risk assessment is comprehensive. It involves:
- Identifying any potential hazards.
- Determining who might be harmed by those hazards.
- Evaluate the risk; this means the severity and likelihood so you can establish suitable precautions.
- Implementing the controls in place and recording your findings.
- Review and re-assess your assessment if required.
Step 1. Identify potential hazards
It is essential to firstly identify any potential hazards and risks within the workplace that may cause injury and harm to anyone that comes into contact with them. The hazards and risks might not always be obvious, so here are some simple steps you can take to identify hazards and risks:
Observation: Walking around your place of work and looking at what substances, processes, tasks and activities, could cause harm to your employees, the public or visitors.
Look back over any past accidents and ill-health records, by doing so might identify less obvious risks and hazards.
Checking the manufacturers’ data sheets, information, guidance and instructions.
Consulting with managers and employees who are carrying out the processes, tasks and activities.It may be helpful to group hazards into five categories, namely psychological, ergonomic, biological, chemical and physical.
Step 2. Identify who might be harmed by any hazards
Next, you need to identify who might be injured or harmed by any potential risks and hazards. It should also be documented how they could be affected, be it through indirect contact or direct contact. You do not need to list any individuals by their names, but by identifying groups including:
Some hazards might present a higher risk to specific groups, including young people and children, anyone with a disability, new or expectant mothers, home workers, lone workers and new employees.
Step 3. Evaluate the severity of the risk and establish precautions
After identifying any hazards, risks and who might be affected, it is crucial to evaluate the severity the risk may present if it was to occur.
It also enables you to establish the appropriate and effective controls required to reduce this level of risk as far as is practical and reasonable. This procedure means that everything possible is done to ensure health and safety, and relevant factors have been considered including:
- The likelihood that any harm may occur
- The severity of injury and harm that may arise
The knowledge of how to eliminate, reduce or control hazards and risks.
The availability of control measures in place designed to reduce, eliminate or suitably prevent the hazard or the risk.Any costs associated with available control measures intended to reduce, eliminate or appropriately control or the risk.
By assessing the severity of any risk requires an evaluation of the likelihood of it occurring and how substantial the consequences that it might cause.
Some factors that affect this evaluation include the frequency and duration of exposure, the number of persons involved and affected, the level of competence of those exposed, the type of equipment being used and its condition, and the availability of first-aid provisions or emergency support.
Step 4. Implement any changes required and record your findings
If a workplace has more than five individuals, the significant findings of the risk assessments are required to be kept either in writing or electronically. Always record your results on a risk assessment form in a simplified way to keep track of the hazards and risks involved and the measures that are in place to reduce the risks identified.
The form should include:
- What hazards and risks were found
- The individual or groups of people who are affected
- The controls that are in place to manage risks and hazards and who is going to monitor them
- Who carried out the risk assessment
- On what date, the risk assessment was completed
It is best practice to ensure the risk assessment is proportionate to the task or activity being conducted; this can often be a straightforward process for generic jobs and tasks.
Step 5. Review your assessment and always re-assess if necessary
Employers should review the assessment periodically and if necessary, re-assess any of the controls that are in place.
A useful guide as to when you may need to review any of your processes are:After any significant changes within the place of work or function in question.
Straight after an accident or ill-health incident has happened.Straight after any near-misses have been reported and documented.
What documentation do you need?
It is a misconception that risk assessments involve a copious amount of paperwork. It can be as straight forward and easy as completing a basic risk assessment for many generic activities or tasks.
However, all employers should make sure they record all significant findings, including:Any hazards and risks that have been identified.
What controls are in place currently, and the information on any further control measures that might be required.All individuals that are especially at risk have been identified.
What are the two critical components of measuring health and safety performance?
The two key components of measuring health and safety performance are:
Active monitoring: This is done before something goes wrong. The employer must carry out routine checks and inspections to make sure all standards are being maintained. They should make sure that the standards and objectives that were set have been achieved and if they are effective.
Reactive monitoring: This is done after something has gone wrong: You must investigate any injuries that occurred, any cases of illness, all complaints of bullying, damage to property and any near-misses. You must specify in each case why and if performance was sub-standard.
What is the Difference Between a Risk and a Hazard?
A hazard is something that can cause harm to a person or group of people, e.g. chemicals, electricity, noise, working up a ladder, a bully in the workplace, stress, a keyboard, etc.A risk is a chance, high or low that any hazard will cause somebody harm.For example, electric cabling is a hazard.
If it has frayed or worn or has snagged on a sharp object, the exposed wiring places it in the high-risk category. Working alone away from your office or place of work can be a hazard. The risk of personal danger might be increased, and therefore the risk is high.
Who Needs to Conduct a Risk Assessment?
If a company or organisation employ five or more employees, by law, every employer must conduct a thorough risk assessment on the work their employees do.
An employer can appoint an appropriate individual to conduct a risk assessment on behalf of the company or organisation, as long as they are competent to do so.
If you require a risk assessment to be carried out on your construction site or building project, then you can ask your qualified RIBA chartered architect to conduct this for you.
RIBA chartered architects have exceptional and extensive knowledge of the construction industry and are qualified and competent to conduct a risk assessment of your construction site or building project.
Risk assessments are an integral part of ensuring the safety, wellbeing and health of everyone within the workplace.
We created this article to explain: Who can Write Risk Assessments For Construction Sites? We created this page to help site owners understand the concerns that need to be addressed.
If you are thinking of conducting a construction risk assessmentin Twickenham or the surrounding areas of London contact our specialist today.