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Identify health hazards before they happen! Create an Occupational Health Risk Profile with these three simple steps

by , 20 February 2015
When it comes to health and safety in the workplace, prevention is better than cure.

You must always strive to identify health hazards and prevent them from happening. This way, your employees are always safe when they work and you comply with health and safety legislation.

But how do you do this?

By creating an Occupational Health Risk Profile for each task and department in your company of course.

Here are three simple steps you can follow to create one in your workplace.

Follow these three steps to create an Occupational Health Risk Profile

An Occupational Health Risk Profile is a profile of all the risks and the level of exposure your employees have to each risk. With a risk profile, you don't have to guess the type of risks your employees face. You identify them early on and prevent them. Here's how…
Step 1: Assess any hazards in your workplace
This step forms the foundation of the whole process. It has a direct impact on your results and the quality of the profile.
So make sure you collect correct information when you assess hazards. Some of the sources you can use to get information include:
  • Hygiene survey results;
  • Risk assessments;
  • Employee complaints;
  • Injury statistics and trend analysis;
  • COID claims;
  • Sick leave history; and
  • Safety committee meeting minutes.
After you have your information, organise it according to environmental stressors. These include:
  • Biological (for example, fungi)
  • Chemical (for example, dust and fumes)
  • Mechanical (for example, workplace design)
  • Physical (for example, noise)
  • Psychological (for example, fatigue, shift work, etc.)
Categorising hazards this way will help you easily do further statistical analysis.

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Step 2: Identify risks, quantify them and create your profile
Here, you create a risk profile. You identify risks in line with the hazards you found. And quantify them according to the dangers they pose and classify them according to ratings (high, medium or low risks).
Step 3: Develop a risk management strategy
Come up with a risk management strategy according to your risk profile.
Your risk management strategies can include:
  • Stopping the effect of the hazard using engineering changes;
  • Using personal protective equipment;
  • Using medical surveillance; and
  • Giving employees health and safety training.
To find out more about this, check out this article. It contains the hierarchy you need to follow when implementing health and safety risk controls in your business.
There you have it: Creating an Occupational Health Risk Profile using these steps will help you identify health hazards before they happen. This way, you comply with health and safety laws and keep your employees safe at all times.
PS: Overall, there are four steps to creating an Occupational Health Risk Profile. You'll find the final step in Risk Assessment: The 100% legally compliant risk assessment toolkit.

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