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Is it a legal requirement to have these seven risk assessments assessed by an AIA?

by , 07 November 2013
One way of ensuring your company identifies any hazards and assesses risks to your employees' health and safety is to do a complete and proper risk assessment of your workplace. But, what about risk assessments on dust, noise, ventilation, lighting, hazardous chemical substances, medical surveillance and legal compliance audits? Is it a legal requirement to have these assessments evaluated by an Approved Inspection Authority (AIA) at intervals at least one every two years? Read on to find out...

Your company is required to identify the hazards and do the risk assessments. The AIA in some cases, is the occupational hygienist who'll do surveys to measure and monitor the extent of the risk to determine if the risk controls are sufficient, says Louise Harty, the  Senior Product Manager behind Risk Assessments: The 100% legally complaint risk assessment toolkit.

But is this necessary in all cases?

Here's what the law says about risk assessments on dust, noise, ventilation, lighting, hazardous chemical substances, medical surveillance and legal compliance audits

#1: Dust. An occupational hygienist must do a survey to measure and monitor the extent of the risk to determine if the risk controls are sufficient. If the dust is assessed as hazardous due to its size or harmful content, you'll need to comply with Hazardous Chemical Substance Regulation 6 on Air monitoring.

#2: Noise. If the noise is above 85dB, you need to comply with the Noise Induced Hearing loss Regulations (Regulation 7 on Noise monitoring).

#3: Ventilation. This is usually done when a problem with ventilation has been identified with base line monitoring, says Harty.

#4: Lighting. You have to do a base line survey to check illumination levels and then twice a year to see if the lighting is still adequate.

#5: Hazardous Chemical Substances. If you use chemicals that are hazardous and have a specified legal limit (control limit), you have to do a survey every 12 months.

#6: Medical surveillance. There's no legal requirement for medical surveillance to be assessed by an AIA. But there's a legal requirement to do risk based medical surveillance. The frequency of surveillance will be based on the findings of the occupational hygiene surveys.

#7: Legal compliance audit. 'There's no legal requirement to do internal or external audits. It's best practice and a requirement of OHSAS 18001. If you're not doing legal compliance audits on a regular basis your company is at risk,' says Harty.

Now that you know whether or not it's a requirement to have the above mentioned risk assessments assessed by an AIA, make sure you comply with your safety obligations.



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