Safety Document For Risk Assessment. Summary

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1 Managing Sickness Absence Handbook Appendix E Safety Document For Risk Assessment Summary The Law Risk assessment is a legal requirement under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 amended A written risk assessment must be produced where there are more than five employees. Risk assessments cover all work activities The Process Hazard Identify the hazard that reasonably could be expected to cause harm. Ignore the trivial and concentrate on significant hazards which could result in serious harm or affect several people. Risk Who is at risk? The people who are employed there all the time, visitors, contractors, service users. Ask yourself, is there a chance they could be hurt by something in the work place or by your activities? Controlling the Risk Ask yourself what precautions are already in place such as safety signs, guards on machinery. Look first at legal requirements, then industry standards, then think for yourself are there any further control measures which can make the activity safer? Record and Communicate If there are more than five employees your control measures must be written down and given to the employees carrying out the activity. Review The control measures must be reviewed regularly. This should be when an accident occurs, any major change takes place, for example new staff, different premises, a change in working methods. If none of these happen review after a year taking into account any accidents. This will tell

2 you whether the control measures are working or does more need to be done? Who Carries Out The Risk Assessment The risk assessment should be carried out by management. The individual who carries it out should be competent. In other words he/she should be experienced, trained and qualified in the activity. Management should consult with the employees who carry out the work and the employee should help and should follow any control measures put in place by management. Purpose The purpose of a risk assessment is to identify a safe system of work. Detailed Information Please read on for more detailed information. 2

3 NORTH TYNESIDE COUNCIL SAFETY DOCUMENT FOR RISK ASSESSMENT August 2004 Review before August 2005 Rev 1 Produced by: Occupational Health & Safety Unit 3

4 CONTENTS Item No: Item Topic Cover Page 1. SCOPE Contents Page 2. DEFINITIONS 3. FUNCTION WHAT IS RISK ASSESSMENT? 4. WHO SHOULD CARRY OUT RISK ASSESSMENTS? 5. THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS - 5 BASIC STEPS 6. ASSESS THE TASK AND IDENTIFY THE HAZARDS 7. DECIDE WHO MIGHT BE HARMED, AND HOW? 8. EVALUATE THE RISK AND CONTROL MEASURES 9. RECORDING ASSESSMENTS 10. MONITOR AND REVISE IF NECESSARY 11. REVIEWING ASSESSMENT 12. QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES 13. RISK ASSESSMENT MATRIX APPENDIX A RISK ASSESSMENT RECORD FORM APPENDIX B MENU OF POSSIBLE HAZARD TOPICS APPENDIX C HIERARCHY OF CONTROL MEASURES 4

5 Safety Document for Risk Assessments 1. SCOPE This safety document is designed to provide general guidance and information to all employees who are required to carry out a risk assessment. A risk assessment is the basis of developing any safe system of work. This procedure is based on Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance for carrying out a risk assessment and is intended to provide assistance to those who may be unfamiliar with the process, or who may require help in carrying out an assessment and recording their significant findings. There is also a standard risk assessment form attached at the end of the procedure to provide an aid for those who prefer that type of method. Compliance with this document will satisfy the Council s obligation to comply with the H.A.S.A.W. etc. Act. 1974, also Regulation 3 of the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations DEFINITIONS ACCIDENT: An unplanned event, which may or may not result in injury or damage. NEAR MISS: An unplanned event, which could have caused injury or damage. HAZARD: Something with the potential to cause risk, e.g. an unsafe act or condition. RISK: The likelihood (Probability) of someone being harmed by the hazard. Could it happen? RISK ASSESSMENT: Evaluating the Potential Risk resulting in the Development of a Safe System of Work. RISK MANAGEMENT: Controlling the Risk. Implement and supervise. 3. FUNCTION WHAT IS RISK ASSESSMENT? 3.1 The purpose of a Risk Assessment is to Identify potential danger inherent in an activity and to develop a Safe System of Work to control that risk. 3.2 The extent of the risk relates to the number of people who may be harmed and the extent of the harm they may suffer. 3.3 Risk Assessments must be suitable and sufficient not perfect. The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) for the Management Regulations 1999 states that the process should concentrate on the significant risks arising out of the work. Trivial risks and the routine risks of life can be ignored. 5

6 4. WHO SHOULD CARRY OUT RISK ASSESSMENTS? 4.1 The process of risk assessment is a management responsibility and is therefore likely to involve management at all levels. Employees should play an active part in the risk assessment process through consultation, but they are unlikely to have the capabilities for the whole task to be delegated to them. 4.2 Those actually carrying out the assessment must: - Understand what the process of risk assessment requires - Know what legislation applies - Have knowledge and experience of the work activity and its hazards - Carry out the task systematically - Know where to turn for help 5. THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROCESS 5 BASIC STEPS 5.1 The process of risk assessment consists of the following 5 basic steps: Assess the task and identify the hazards Decide who might be harmed, and how? Evaluate risks to determine if existing controls are adequate or need to be improved. Record the findings Monitor the procedure and revise if necessary. 6. ASSESS THE TASK & IDENTIFY THE HAZARDS 6.1 The main hazards of the work task must first be identified through careful thought, relevant research and visits to the workplace. 6.2 Break down the task into constituent parts; i.e. produce a list of the various activities, which are involved in performing the activity. 6.3 From the list of activities it is then possible to identify which parts of the task are hazardous. It is best to attempt to group hazards under logical headings e.g. transport, machinery, storage and access (see the menu of hazard topics in Appendix A). The assessor should concern himself with those hazards which are reasonable foreseeable. 7. DECIDE WHO MIGHT BE HARMED AND HOW? 7.1 In identifying hazards, account must be taken of all those who may be at risk during the activity or process e.g. operatives, administrative employees, contractors, visitors, customers, maintenance employees, members of the public, temporary employees, peripatetic workers, cleaners, environment etc. 6

7 7.2 Some people may justify extra attention e.g. young persons, lone workers, and people with disabilities, inexperienced workers, pregnant woman and new mothers. 7.3 Account must be taken of non-standard situations e.g. fluctuations in workload demands or production, breakdowns of equipment, abnormal weather conditions, One-off repair jobs etc. 8. EVALUATE THE RISKS AND CONTROL MEASURES 8.1 Having established the dangers involved the likelihood of it happening and who will be affected, you can now decide if the procedures in place are sufficient, or whether despite them there is still likely to be an accident. 8.2 Quantification of risk is only likely to be necessary in large and potentially high-risk situations; however, adopting this approach will enable the assessor to prioritise the level of control that is required under lower risk situations (See Section 12). 8.3 The assessor should follow a systematic and informed application of the following questions: - Does a significant risk exist in practice? - Can the risk be eliminated? - What is the present level of control? E.g. Procedures, Physical Safeguards, Training, Personal Protective Equipment, Supervision etc. - Is this enough? - What else should be done? 8.4 Where it is felt that the existing procedures (Safe Systems of Work) are adequate, implement and monitor them to ensure they are working correctly. 8.5 It is likely that the risk assessment will identify improvements which are necessary e.g. enforcement of existing control measures, modification of existing procedures or creation of new ones, training for employees, improvements to physical safeguards. 8.6 Assessors should remember that the objective is to achieve compliance with the law, which will often mean doing what is reasonably practicable rather than attaining total safety. However, assessors must not be put off recommending control measures, which they consider to be necessary because they do not believe that resources will be made available to carry out their recommendations. 8.7 The risk assessor should identify what controls are necessary to comply with the law the responsibility for achieving compliance rests with the employer (See Appendix C Hierarchy of Control Measures). 7

8 9. RECORDING ASSESSMENTS 9.1 The Management Regulations 1999 require records to include: - Significant hazards identified - The existing control measures in place - Those employees especially at risk - Recommendations for improvement 9.2 Any record which contains this information, together with relevant identification data (work activity, name and signature of assessor(s), date of assessment) is acceptable. 9.3 Recording your findings allow you to prove that you have conducted a risk assessment in the event that things go wrong. They also provide a model or example for future work of the same type. 9.4 Risk Assessments provide written advice to person(s) doing the work. This is essential if they are to be aware and advised of the dangers and the safe systems necessary to control it. 10. MONITOR AND REVISE IF NECESSARY 10.1 Having decided on a safe system of work; discussed it with the operatives and put it into place, you must now supervise and monitor it. This will allow you to determine if the precautions in place are working or not If the control measures are adequate, no further action is required If the control measures are not adequate, start again at stage 1 of the 5 basics steps. Remember it is better to revise a procedure than to have an accident. 11. REVIEWING ASSESSMENTS 11.1 It is not necessary to carry out a new risk assessment every time the same task is repeated, however, they should be periodically reviewed if there is reason to believe that they are no longer valid Assessments should be reviewed if someone has been injured whilst carrying out the task Assessments should always be reviewed if a significant component of the task has changed, e.g. equipment, materials, environment, manning levels, processes etc When a risk assessment has changed, carry out a toolbox talk / meeting with those involved in the task to keep them informed 8

9 12. QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT TECHNIQUES 12.1 Most quantitative techniques are based on a simple combination of the likelihood of a hazard having an adverse effect and the severity of the consequences if it did Simple quantification of risk can be beneficial to the risk assessment process as it ensures that both severity and likelihood are considered; some subjectivity is removed from the process as well as it being helpful in determining priorities for improvements The negatives for adopting this approach are that too much time can be spent debating risk values, rather than evaluating the effectiveness of control measures. 9

10 13. RISK ASSESSMENT MATRIX 13.1 Using your knowledge and experience, award the Frequency and Severity of the components of the task being risk assessed a score between 1 and 5 using the factors below. FREQUENCY SEVERITY 1. Task occurs less than once/year 1.Unlikely to cause injury or illness. 2. Task occurs less than 12times/year 2.Could cause minor injury or illness with no likely absence from work. 3. Task occurs more than once/month 3.Could cause moderate injury or illness with short-term absence from work. 4. Task occurs more than once/week 4.Could cause serious injury or illness with long-term absence from work. 5. Task occurs more than once/day 5.Could cause death or large scale illness. Frequency x Severity = Risk Factor (Risk Factor is either LOW, MEDIM OR HIGH) Severity Frequency Low Low Low Medium Medium 2 Low Low Medium Medium High 3 Low Low Medium Medium High 4 Low Medium Medium High High 5 Low High High High High Apply the score to determine the Risk Factor The higher the Risk Factor the greater the precautions needed to control the danger. 10

11 Managing Sickness Absence Handbook Appendix E APPENDIX A GENERAL RISK ASSESSMENT RECORD FORM DEPARTMENT: SECTION / DIVISION: EMPLOYEE GROUP: LOCATION: TASK / PREMISES: ASSESSOR: DATE: REVIEW DATE: No Activity / Plant / Materials, etc. Hazard Persons in Danger Severity 1-5 Likelihood 1-5 Risk Factor Control Measures / Improvement s Result* *Key to Result: T= Trivial Risk A= Adequately controlled N = Not adequately controlled U = Unable to decide. Further information required.

12 ASSESSORS SIGNATURE: SERVICE MANAGER 12

13 Managing Sickness Absence Handbook APPENDIX B - MENU OF POSSIBLE HAZARD TOPICS Appendix E Process Machinery Powered Tools Hand Tools Electrical Equipment Cranes Fork Lift Trucks Lifting Equipment Lifts Hoists Vehicles Traffic Routes Rail Traffic Rail Traffic Storage Stacking Racking Compressed Air Pressure Systems Work at Heights Ladders and Stepladders Scaffolding Mobile Elevated Working Platforms Fire Flammable Gases Flammable Liquids Compressed Gases Burning and Welding Electrical Work Overhead Services Buried Services Excavations Confined Spaces Water Glass Site Security Use of Contractors Site-Related Hazards Lone Working Violence Cash Handling Stress Lasers Vibrations Steam

14 APPENDIX C HIERARCHY OF CONTROL MEASURES 1. Elimination (e.g. buying ready sawn timber rather than using a circular saw). 2. Substitution by something less hazardous and risky. 3. Enclosure (enclose) it in a way that eliminates or controls the hazard / risk). 4. Guarding / Segregation of people. 5. Safe System of work that reduces the risk to an acceptable level. 6. Written procedures that are known and understood by those affected. 7. Adequate supervision. 8. Identification of training needs. 9. Information / instruction (signs, handouts). 10. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 14

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