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Don't let these six common problems stand in your way of a legally compliant risk assessment

by , 03 February 2015
A risk assessment forms the base of any health and safety programme. But did you know there are six common problems businesses face that render them non-compliant?

If you face these problems, they could be the undoing of your whole health and safety programme. They could even land you in more trouble with the DoL than if you didn't do a risk assessment in the first place.

Scary, right?

It is for those who don't know how to overcome them. And that's exactly what I'm going to help you do....

Six common risk assessment problems that could stop you complying with the OHS Act

 1. Your employees are scared to put their name on a formal safety document. They think this makes them personally liable if something goes wrong, for example a risk he didn't see causes an accident.
As a result, employees shy away from the responsibility. Or worse, they don't follow your risk assessment procedures so they don't have to put their name on a document.
To overcome this, train your employees on the process. Make them understand the paper trail isn't there to get them in trouble. It's there so the safety officer can find out what might have gone wrong and fix it.
Also, get employees to work with a supervisor to do the risk assessment. This way, they can share the responsibility and the pressure.
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 2. Not setting a proper time frame for your risk assessment. This mistake could render the whole process unless. If you rush it because you don't have enough time, you'll miss something. And if you give yourself too much time, you'll just keep putting it off.
Create a structured plan that gives you enough time to do your risk assessments and stick to it. This way you can get your assessment done the right way.
3. Not monitoring or reviewing your risks. This means the information in your risk assessment could be out of date and useless. After all, risks change and evolve constantly.
In your risk management plan, set dates where you review your risk assessment. You must also make risk monitoring a constant thing. Train supervisors on how to monitor risks to make sure your employees are always safe.
4. Not using your risk registers and documents to control risks on a daily basis. Go back to them frequently and use them to see if your risk levels increased or decreased.
5. Not telling your employees about your risk assessment findings. Doing this means they don't know what danger they're in. To make sure employees can respond to workplace risks properly, they have to know what they are. So, hold a general meeting and discuss the findings with your employees.

6. Using a generic risk assessment you bought online. This is a waste of time. They don't comply with the law because they're not specific to your workplace.
Sure, you can use them as a template, but you must modify them and make them specific to your company to comply with the law.
These six problems could stop you from complying with the OHS Act. This means the DoL could charge you hefty penalties, send you to jail and even shut your company down!
Rather get your risk assessment right the first time round and make sure you comply from the very beginning.
To do this, check out the Risk Assessment Toolkit. It contains everything you need to know to do a legally compliant risk assessment. 

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