Does your company have a risk assessment in place? A risk assessment is a thorough look at your workplace to pinpoint the situations, processes and other things that could potentially cause harm, specifically to people. Every business owner should be proactive and take risk assessment process seriously - assigning it to a well trained and informed employee or trusted advisor. A risk assessment process includes identifying hazards, evaluating the risk associated and determining the appropriate ways to reduce or eliminate the hazard. The resulting standardized precautions or control measures create a safer workplace environment.
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Risk assessments can be easier to produce with some patience and guidelines. Choose the team member handling the assessment carefully and consider enlisting the help of more than one. The staff involved should always include their supervisors and employees who work with the process.
Any risk assessment process should at the very least include the following steps:
- Identify and document any potential hazards.
- Thoroughly evaluate the possibility of an injury or illness and how serious it could be.
- Keep in mind the normal operational situations along with non-standard events like shutdowns, power outages and other emergencies.
- Go over all available health and safety information about the hazard, i.e. MSDSs, manufacturer literature, etc. and make sure they are easily found and organized in case of any emergency.
- Create emergency contacts lists and make sure it is distributed properly throughout the company.
- Schedule proper emergency drills.
- Ensure alarms are tested on a regular basis and employees are familiar with evacuation plans.
- Pinpoint the necessary actions to control or eliminate the risk.
- Create a plan including a time line to implement the steps needed to mitigate the risk.
- Observe and evaluate to confirm that the risk is controlled.
- Keep all documentation regarding the risk assessment and proactive steps taken to mitigate the risk
- Clearly assign all tasks for follow up.
- Complete a final follow up to ensure all assigned tasks were completed and safety agreements were put in place including any necessary training.
Every work environment is always changing. It is important to always review and monitor your assessment. Having a strong commitment to risk assessment will keep these proactive concepts top-of-mind when new equipment or procedures are introduced. Review the assessment quarterly, when there’s a start of a new project, change in work process, change or addition to tools, new employees, moving into a new office, or new chemicals or substances being used.
Documentations are required for a risk assessment. The level of documentation consists of identifying the level or risk, legislated requirements, and requirements of any management systems that will be in place. Even demonstrating you've added a first aid kit is important to document to record your due diligence. Your documentation should show that you coordinated a good hazard review of your workplace. Show that you found the risks of those hazards, executed control measures applicable for the risk and reviewed and monitored all the hazards in the workplace.
Contact Beimdiek Insurance for more helpful HR consulting, risk assessment information and guidance on reaching your company goals. With offices throughout Southwest Missouri we're here to help you! Anyone at our main offices in Carthage and Joplin will be happy to make an appointment for you with one of our specialists.
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