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Revealed: The six steps for a foolproof risk assessment

by , 25 July 2014
Your health and safety programme hinges on your risk management. And your risk management all starts with your risk assessment. This is where you identify the dangers present in your workplace. These are the cause of any and all workplace accidents. If you don't deal with them, your employees will always be in harm's way.

So you need to get your health and safety right from the beginning. To do that you must do a foolproof risk assessment, and today we're going to tell you how to do just that...

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Do you have more than 20 employees?
Don't ignore this health and safety obligation or else!
The DoL will slap you with a R50 000 fine or 1 year in jail if you don't have a health and safety representative. 

Here's how to make your risk assessment foolproof

If you want your risk assessment to be 100% successful ,you need to be prepared. You need to know what to do and how to do it. So here what you need to know:
1. Plan out every step 
When you have a clear plan, it's easier to avoid distractions and to ensure you check everything you need to check. Create a list and a map of your workplace. Both should outline the jobs your employees do in different areas and the hazards you may see there. 
2. Set a date with your health and safety representative 
You need to ensure your health and safety representative can do the assessment with you because his input is vital. He may know more about what your employees deal with during their work than you do.
This is a way of recording your risks and the details about them.
4. Watch your employees at work
You need to watch your employees as they work. Examine how they use their tools and machinery. Ask them questions about how and why they do things. Look for old machinery that doesn't work well anymore. Be aware of everything that's happening in your workplace.
5. Record risks as you spot them
As you see a risk, write down all the details you can about it.
6. Take your findings to your health and safety committee meeting to decide on how to deal with them
You need to discuss a way forward with your health and safety committee to ensure everyone agrees.
Then it's a matter of implementing your safety precautions and repeating the process every six months. If you do this, your health and safety programme will be 100% effective.
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