Risk Assessment – An Ounce of Prevention That’s Worth a Pound of Cure

In order to properly protect your workplace, you must first evaluate your exposures.  Read more to see how to make that assessment.

Myra Piper, CIC

A risk assessment is an effort to examine your workplace, looking for anything that could potentially cause harm to people. Risk assessment is a very important step in making sure your employees and your business are protected from harm. As you focus on the risks that carry potential to cause real harm, you can consider whether you have taken enough precautions or if there is more that should be done to prevent harm.

This process should remain simple. Once the risks are known, the necessary control measures are usually easy to apply. Below are a few steps that will help in your risk assessment:

1. Identify the hazard:
-Walk around the workplace looking for things that could potentially cause harm.
-Ask your employees-they may notice hazards that are not immediately recognizable to you
-Remember to look for long-term hazards to health (exposure to high levels of noise or harmful substances) as well as safety hazards.
2. Decide what groups of people will be harmed.
-This could include employees working in a partic-ular place, maintenance workers, contractors, new employees, expectant mothers or people with disabilities
-Guidelines may need to be put into place for each people group
3. Evaluate the risks and Decide on Precautions
– The law does require the employer to do all that is “reasonably practicable” to protect people from harm.
4. Record Your Findings and Implement Solutions

Make a plan of action and tackle the most important things first. Few workplaces remain the same year after year, so make risk assessment a priority as your company changes.

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