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Four bases every risk assessment should cover

by , 13 August 2014
Do your risk assessments do what they should? Do you get to the end of one and feel confident that you've identified all the risks your employees face? Do your know if all the safety precautions you put in place will work?

The truth is there's no formula for a perfect risk assessment. There's only your knowledge of your workplace and the risks that exist there.

To ensure this process is effective and you get the best results from your risk assessment, ensure your risk assessment covers these four bases...


Every risk assessment you do must cover these four bases

1. What work do your employees do?
You must observe your employees at work and look at what they do and how they do it. For example, employees who work with industrial cutting machines face the hazard of the blade and the risk of being cut badly.
2. What do your employees use to do this work?
Look for other risks than come from what your employees use to do their jobs. For example, does a shorter employee use a chair to reach higher control panels? The chair is a hazard and has the risk of falling over while your employee is on it or tripping other employees.
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Take this quick quiz to find out if you can handle the DoL hot seat
Which risk assessments have to be checked by an approved inspector every two years?
Is it absolutely necessary for your company to appoint and train someone as a risk assessor?
When was the last time you did a risk assessment? (Is that too long?)
Have you checked and double checked the less obvious health hazards?
If you can't answer even one of these questions you're not only putting your employee's lives at risk; you're also putting yourself in danger of massive fine from the DoL.
Don't wait until it's too late.
3. How do your employees do their work?
Your employees may be a hazard if they do their work quickly and carelessly without following safety procedures. 
4. Where do your employees do their work?
You need to look for hazards and risks in the area your employees work in. For example, poor ventilation is a hazard and causes elevated levels of dust and fumes in the air.
Ensure every risk assessment you do covers these four bases so you can ensure your employees are safe from all the hazards they face.

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