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If health and safety policies are the foundation of any health and safety management system, then risk assessments are the building blocks. Their purpose is to identify any existing hazards and assess the risks that they present.
This enables us to prioritize actions to ensure that the most pressing threats to the health and safety are addressed without undue delay. This is achieved by devising practical, effective risk control solutions which are minimally invasive to production methods and product/service yield.
In most countries employers have a legal duty to carry out general risk assessments in order to help them to protect their employees and anyone else who could be affected by their undertaking.
Our tried and tested methodology helps to ensure that hazards are not overlooked, and it also facilitates future comparison of assessment results. Following a thorough hazard-identification process, a report is prepared highlighting any health and safety issues, and providing clear indications of the levels of risk that they each present. Recommendations on actions that need to be taken are then set out in priority order.
A general risk assessment may also highlight the necessity for a specific risk assessment.
As mentioned previously, a general risk assessment may highlight specific hazards which require further attention. Some occupations and environments are inherently more susceptible to certain hazards and in these instances, an assessment targeted at one or more of the hazards below would be necessary. In these cases, the methodology and approach to risk quantification and prioritization is similar to that used in our general risk assessment.
Work involving heavy lifting and/or which involves awkward repetitive movement leaves employees at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders and other health issues. A typical manual handling assessment would involve analyzing the task, load, environment and capability of the individual to calculate a risk value. Recommendations for risk reduction methods can then be suggested.
Almost all workplaces are exposed to the risk of fire, but some, such as those with processes involving flammable chemicals or heat-producing machinery and hot work tasks present higher risks. As well as identifying fire hazards, our fire risk assessments have a particular focus on fire signage, extinguishing equipment and its location, exits and storage of hazardous materials among other things.
It is mandatory to assess the risks that would be encountered by any worker who is under 17 years of age. The same is true for nursing or expectant mothers. Physical and cognitive limitations need to be taken into account as well as exposure to any harmful substances and the work environment itself. The assessments will provide individual recommendations particular to the person concerned.
For many office workers, most of their day is spent sitting down in front of their computer (display screen equipment/visual display unit). Other workers may use different types of display screen such as those operating computer-aided equipment. The risk of developing work related upper limb disorders and other repetitive motion strain injuries is increased for these workers. These conditions develop slowly often without being noticed, which makes a preventative approach all the more important.
The work equipment, space, individual workers and environment are all factors that must be taken into account when conducting a DSE assessment.
Work at height carries inherent risks and it is important to assess the work method and equipment in use to ensure that the task is carried out in the safest way.
The safety issues associated with work equipment are numerous. These include, but are not limited to mechanical and non mechanical hazards such as entrapment, electrical, hazardous fumes, noise, ergonomics etc…
Some workplaces involve working with, or generating substances which can cause both long and short term damage to the human body in various ways. A risk assessment in this instance will look into the types and quantities of substances to which people may be exposed during work processes, and in storage, as well as the adequacy of any control measures that are in place to control the harmful effects of these types of hazard.
Regulations place restrictions on the number of hours that a worker should be exposed to established levels of noise. In workplaces where these hazards pose a threat to workers’ health, a risk assessment to measure exposure levels for comparison with legal standards and best practice is necessary in order that appropriate control measures can be devised.