In Canada, bodily exertion and contact with objects and equipment are the top two events that cause employees to miss work. Risk assessments can be used to protect both the safety of the employees and the security of the business or organization. In industries where heavy machinery and intense labor are required, it's important to take extra measures to thoroughly manage the risks that can put employees in danger.
A risk assessment of the employees' physical work space and operations should be conducted to ensure that the organization has the proper procedures in place to protect the safety of it's employees. Follow the tips below to learn how to assess the risks of the workplace and procedures of employees.
1) Identify the Hazards
Hazards are anything that can cause physical harm or illness to your employees. Identify all the hazards in the business process and the activities involved. All workplace information related to these things should be reviewed: workplace reports, production design, incident reports, etc. Hazards vary by industry and can be specific to your organization. Common hazards include the following:
- Slips trips and falls due to irregular stair height, raked floors, unsuitable floor surfaces, scenery, props cables, etc.
- Excessive sound levels
- Falls from height
- Potential dangers of using and operation equipment
2) Evaluate the Hazards and Decide on Precautions
Identify who can be harmed and how they can be harmed by the hazard. Determine the hazard’s risk rating by evaluating the likelihood and severity of the hazard.
- Likelihood - A high, medium, or low probability that the hazard will cause injury or illness.
- Severity - A major, moderate, or minor estimate of how serious the injury or illness could be.
3) Control of Health and Safety Hazards
It is the duty of the employer to control hazards and remove them wherever possible. If it's not possible to remove them, controls and equipment should be put in place to mitigate the risks to all parties involved. There are 3 types of controls that can be implemented: engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment controls.
- Engineering controls are physically controlled hazards such as the handling of toxic chemicals, sound regulations, etc.
- Administrative controls are the development and utilization of procedures, worker training, supervision and other preventative measures.
- Personal protective equipment is physical equipment that is used in controls to prevent harm of employees such as protective eye wear, fire-proof suits, etc.
4) Implement Controls
The organization must ensure that administrative controls are followed and personal protective equipment is used. It is the duty of the employer to ensure the proper equipment is provided and that employees are properly trained to use it. Review risk assessments and relevant Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) with employees and post them in their work spaces.
5) Review Assessment and Update if Necessary
Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. When hazards and issues are identified during the risk assessment process they must be dealt with and a solution must be produced. Ensure that the written risk assessment is updated as needed and archived for future reference.
Follow the link here to ClearRisk's Environment Health and Safety checklist for tips on how to better assess the safety of your organization.