Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Why do we start with risk assessments?

  1. Getting everyone involved: The first important step is get the right people involved.  A risk assessment is best done with representation from all parties involved.  The operator of the equipment, the supervisor of the operators, maintenance personnel who service the equipment, engineers that specify and support the equipment and health and safety team members who know the types of injuries that can occur.  Others can be involved, as many people that are needed to get an accurate picture of the activities and their hazards.  This team’s first task is to list all the activities and the hazards that each activity has.  The primary method of gathering this information is the review of the work process, but other sources of information can come from the manufacturer, or previous injuries and near misses that have occurred.
  2. Showing your due diligence:  Sometimes safeguarding can be complicated.  The answer you come up with may have some considerations that may not be apparent to someone at first glance.  There may need to be a change of procedure for the application to be valid.  Just like the old days of exams, show your work!  That’s what a risk assessment does.  It shows the work that was done to come up with a solution.  Why is that valuable?  So, if you haven’t zeroed in on the right answer, someone can see the thought process and help.  If you have a great solution, show how you came up with it to ensure understanding of how it meets compliance.
  3. Have your controls met the risk reduction goal:  The risk assessment is like a scorecard.  After controls are put in place, you need to review the risk assessment with the team and add scores to them.  What if when you score the new controls the risk hasn’t changed?  Then that’s a good indicator that your solution might not be valid.  If your goal is to reduce risk, the risk assessment can tell you when you are heading in the right direction.
  4. What performance level do you need:  With these new controls, its important to know the reliability needed to meet compliance.  This applies mainly on the electrical side, but is used for all controls.  The risk assessment can outline what level of redundancy and performance is needed for your safety control circuit.

    Good luck, and never hesitate to contact us about risk assessments.


Posted by Kristin Petaski at 12:45 PM


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