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Toolbox talks: What your employees need to know about risk assessments

by , 03 October 2016
Toolbox talks: What your employees need to know about risk assessmentsThe Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires you to identify all hazards and risks in your workplace. You must, thereafter, analyse the risks and implement control measures to reduce or remove the risks associated with your company's activities. Use this toolbox talk to train your employees on the importance of doing daily risk assessments in their work area...

The words 'risk assessment' shouldn't intimidate you.

Basically, 'risk assessment' is a fancy name for something we do on a daily basis without realising it.

When you cross the road you look at traffic and make sure it's safe to cross the road. When you drive, you check your mirrors to see if it's safe to change lanes. These are examples of risk assessments that everyone does on a daily basis.

But, what about when you're at the office?

In an office environment you need to conduct toolbox talks and teach your workers about risk assessments.

Here's what you need to cover when conducting toolbox talks on risk assessments

You need to tell your employees that Section 8 of the OHSA requires you to conduct risk assessments and after you've identified the risks, put control measures to remove these risks, says the Toolbox Talks Kit.

What's at stake?

Your employees need to know that if risks aren't identified, they can't be controlled or removed and they'll be in danger of being involved in serious incidents.

And this will mean you'll be (employer) in contravention of the OHSA and the DoL could fine and penalise you.

Tell your employees to NOT turn a blind eye when it comes to hazards in the workplace. They must assist you in identifying these risks so you can put control measures in place to mitigate and reduce such risks.

Read on to find out who can do a risk assessment...

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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.
 

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Who can do a risk assessment?

It's important to let your employees know that anybody trained and competent in doing risk assessments, can do risk assessments.

In certain cases, the person doing the risk assessment must be approved by the Chief Inspector of the Department of Labour.

For example, the Major Hazard Installation Regulations requires that the person who performs a risk assessment must be approved by an Approved Inspection Authority.

The bottom line: It's crucial you tell your employees that risk assessments form part of their daily routines. And that it's each and everyone's responsibility to ensure all risks in the workplace are identified and communicated to coworkers and to you (employer.)

Tell them you need their eyes to assist you in this huge task as required by OHSA.

To easily comply with the OHS Act, have a look at this recently updated health and safety tool.



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