Why is Risk Assessment Important
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Find out why risk assessment is importance in construction? We look at when to perform a risk assessment and the health and safety concerns that it addresses.
Why is Risk Assessment Important In Construction?
It is a legal requirement to perform risks assessments at construction sites regardless you are a company or a self-employed individual. If you are a company with five or more employees, you are legally required to record any findings through risk assessments.
You shouldn't do risk assessments just as part of meeting legal requirements; they are essential precautions to make you and your employees safe, comfortable and happy. Suppose an employee suffers from a serious accident in the workplace.
In that case, they are more likely to quit and prompt other workers to follow, especially if you have demonstrated a lack of concern for health and safety rules.
What Is A Construction Risk Assessment?
A construction risk assessment aims to identify the dangerous factors and potential hazards in construction projects. A typical risk assessment can be divided into the following three parts:
Analysing and evaluating risk
Controlling the risk
Apart from preventing injuries directly, risk assessments provide additional benefits. Some examples include:
Raising awareness in the workplace about health and safety
The ability to determine who at the workplace is at the most risk
Learn new ways to prevent and control hazards
Allows you to review your legal documentation
It can be challenging to know where to start with your risk assessments. By asking yourself questions, you can efficiently determine the actions or decisions that need to take place in your workplace. Here are some examples:
What circumstances could make this area dangerous?
Are we using this machinery properly?
What is the probability that someone could trip here?
Are we teaching all employees about how to use this tool?
Is there proper lighting in this room?
There any many valid types of risk assessments that companies from all industries can use to ensure the safety of their workers. Which one you use depends on the type of work your company needs to carry out.
Firstly there is a baseline risk assessment. This method involves establishing a benchmark of all potential hazards that are present on the construction site.
The risks are then ranked according to their severity, and control systems will be put in place for risks that need them.
A baseline risk assessment can be extremely thorough, and it will often include just about anything that could serve as a hazard in the workplace.
It is also time-efficient as managers can focus primarily on higher-ranked risks instead of wasting time on minor issues that have a low chance of causing real danger.
Another method is a continuous risk assessment which is one that the employees perform at regular intervals. It often involves hazard awareness, such as reminding workers to stay alert and to inform superiors of any on-site issues.
Checklists can be used at the start of each day to check employees are using the proper equipment and protection. Such checks could be done by a third party or a site manager.
Finally, there is the issue-based risk assessment. This particular method focuses on hazards associated with certain activities or tasks instead of risks that affect a construction project as a whole. Typically, this method is implemented after an initial baseline risk assessment to respond to specific risks identified in that assessment.
When To Perform Risk Assessment
As each construction site is different, there is no set structure for when you should perform risk assessments. However, you should always do one before any work or tasks are carried out, such as during the planning/design phase. After introducing a new process or method for a project, that could serve as a good time for a new risk assessment.
For example, if new tools and equipment are introduced, a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the tools/equipment would typically benefit your employers as it would educate them and keep them safe.
Additionally, through effective teaching of how to use equipment properly, the lifespan of the equipment will increase substantially.
After identifying a hazard or risk, that is another good time to review your risk assessments.
As an example, after an unforeseen thunderstorm, a risk assessment could tell you there are several particularly slippery surfaces on-site.
You can then evaluate the threat level of the wet surfaces and implement safety measures accordingly and ensure that any employees that missed training due to being off sick are kept up to date with new safety policies and any relevant news when they get back to work.
Are you looking for advice on construction site risk assessment in London? Our specialist architect offers construction risk assessments for Twickenham and the surrounding areas of London.
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