Guidance on Risk Assessment:

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1 Guidance on Risk Assessment: Contents 1. Introduction Page 1 2. Definitions Page 2 3. Responsibilities for Risk Assessment Page 2 4. Choosing and Assessor Page 2 5. The Risk Assessment Process Page 3 6. Specific and Individual risk Assessments Page 7 7. Further Advice and Information Page 7 Appendix 1 Risk Assessment Forms Page 8 1. Introduction: 1.1 Risk assessment is the fundamental tool in assessing and improving health and safety performance. Risk assessment enables managers to identify and prioritise potential health and safety risks in the workplace and ensure control measures are implemented to reduce risks as low as reasonably practicable. It is also a legal requirement to carry out risk assessments and to implement control measures. 1.2 Risk assessments must be carried out by a competent person, one who has undertaken training on risk assessment, and is aware of the activity being assessed. A better risk assessment is usually achieved if the person actually doing the activity and the union safety representative is involved in the process. 1.3 From general risk assessments it is possible to identify hazards that require further assessment in the form of specific and individual assessments. Specific assessments are legally required for specific hazards in the workplace, such as Display Screen Equipment, Manual Handling, Noise, and Workplace Equipment. 1.4 Individual assessments are required for some categories of employees i.e. New and expectant mothers, Young persons, and employees with a medical condition or disability and for service users.

2 2. Definitions: 2.1 In order to understand the methodology of risk assessment it is necessary to know the technical description of a few terms: Hazard anything with the potential to cause harm (the constant) Risk the likelihood of that harm being realised (the variable) Harm an injury caused by a hazard being realised; this can be physical, psychological or financial. Safe System of Work a formal procedure for undertaking work tasks, e.g. planning for an outdoor activity/visit. 3. Responsibilities for Risk Assessment: 3.1 Management: All business unit managers and other managers are responsible for: Ensuring that all hazards and activities within their teams are assessed. Ensuring that all control measures identified are implemented. Appointing and training sufficient risk assessors to carry out risk assessments. Monitoring implementation of any control measures. Informing staff of the risks involved. Reviewing risk assessments when necessary. 3.2 Risk Assessors: Risk assessors are responsible for: Undertake any training necessary. Carry out risk assessments within their skills and knowledge. Record the findings of risk assessments. Complete and action plan, with the line manager, if needed. Informing management of their findings. Obtaining external assistance where they believe they do not have the expertise to carry our any assessment. 3.3 All Staff: Everybody must ensure: That they are aware of the findings of any risk assessment. Work in accordance with any safe system of work implemented to reduce risks. 4 Choosing an Assessor: 4.1 Any assessor does need to have some basic skills and training before being competent to undertake assessments and direct others who are assisting in the process. Appropriate and effective training is crucial to the role of assessor, details can be found in the LBS Corporate Training Programme. 4.2 Managers nominating risk assessors may find the pointers listed below useful. Managers need to feel confident in the appointed assessors; similarly staff need to feel assured that the risk assessment process is effective in making the workplace a safer and healthier place. Page 2 of 10

3 Staff undertaking the task/activity being assessed and familiar with current working practices are often the most effective assessors. If it is not possible to appoint someone already undertaking the activity, at least an awareness of the type of activities and the potential hazards will be a requirement. The number of assessments that will be required and the accompanying schedule of reviews; workload allocation needs to reflect the requirements of the assessor(s) role. Records will need to be kept of those who are trained: names and location; training details and skills acquired (eg manual handling, display screen equipment, COSHH); date of training and anticipated date of refresher training. Assessors will, at times, need to seek advice from other readily accessible sources; the training should have identified the limitations and scope of the assessor. A list of useful sources of information, including the Education Health and Safety team, is available at Item 6 of this guidance. Assessors need to be willing to undertake the role of assessor and have the ability to supplement their existing knowledge and experience, with appropriate training, instruction and supervision. 5. Risk Assessment Process: 5.1 Risk assessments must be undertaken: On all activities conducted in a business area Following major accidents or incidents When there are changes in workplace processes, including the introduction of new software. When there is a change in the physical structure of the workplace. In the absence of the above, reviewed two years from the date of original assessment. 5.2 Risk assessments must be completed using the risk assessment form ( Appendix 1) an action plan should also be completed and be recorded and maintained in the team health and safety file. Staff involved in the work activity must be informed of the risk assessment and planned action. A copy of the risk assessment and action plan is to be forwarded to the departmental safety team. 5.3 Identify hazards: Try to identify all the hazards associated with the activity or location, consider: Legislation, associated guidance, national and industry standards and manufacturers instructions are valuable tools in the process of hazard identification. Address the actual work practices. Find out what actually happens and consider nonroutine operations i.e. maintenance operations, loading and unloading, changes in workload. Consider what happens if something goes wrong or there is an emergency. Take account of human factors, which may arise, such as lapses of attention, mistaken actions, misperceptions Page 3 of 10

4 Remember that the work place extends past the immediate work area, travel to other sites, public visits, are all considered workplaces. This can include hazards within the location itself. Involve staff and safety representatives in the risk assessment process Specific assessments must be undertaken for some hazards. These include Display Screen Equipment, Manual Handling, Noise, and Workplace Equipment. Risk assessments must be undertaken in the planning stage of all organised trips, outings and group activities. Particular attention should be paid to Hazards identified in the venue and the activity Special needs of service users/staff/participants Competence/training/experience of staff Ratio of staff to participants Emergency arrangements Transport arrangements Where complex assessments are required it may be necessary to use special techniques such as Hazardous Operability studies and fault tree analysis. Contact the health and safety team for advice/guidance 5.4 Identify who is at risk Employees, agency workers, support workers, students, pupils, service users, volunteers, visitors, contractors and where applicable others such as carers, family members and friends Particular attention should be paid to people who may be at greater risk including new or expectant mothers, young workers, inexperienced staff, people with disabilities, lone workers, night workers, visitors and contractors. Individual assessments for service users must be undertaken and regularly reviewed. Individual assessments are required for some categories of employees i.e. New and expectant mothers, young persons, and employees with a medical condition or disability 5.5 Identify existing control measures Consider what control measures are already in place to control the risk i.e. procedures, assessments, training, personal protective equipment Existing controls should be taken in to account when considering the likelihood of an injury, the more effective and appropriate controls that exist, the less likely an injury will occur Any control measures must take into account the legal minimum requirements which establish the minimum levels of risk control Page 4 of 10

5 5.6 Evaluate the Risk. Estimate the Severity of any harm that is likely to occur. Assess the level of injury most likely to occur using the following categories: o o o o Trivial minor cuts, abrasions and bruising Minor Injury Serious muscle damage, such as strain, ache or pain, Lacerations, Likely to result in 1-3 days off work. Significant Harm Concussion, Fractures, dislocations, likely to result in over 3 days away from work. Major Injury/Death Fatality, long term injuries / illness 5.7 Evaluate the likelihood: Estimate the likelihood of injury occurring using the following categories: o Unlikely has not occurred before o Likely has occurred previously o Highly Likely Is possible to occur o Inevitable Will happen 5.8 Evaluate the risk: The matrix (below) is used to identify a risk rating that is interrelated to the action to be taken and the priority that action should receive. The rating is achieved by looking down the likelihood column to the severity-rating row. For example, if the likelihood of injury is Likely and the severity is Minor Injury, looking down the Likely column until the Minor Injury row is reached results in a risk value of Tolerable. LIKELIHOOD SEVERITY Unlikely Likely Highly Likely Inevitable Trivial Low Low Low Medium Minor Injury Low Medium Medium High Significant Low Medium High High Harm Major Injury/Death Medium High High High 5.9 Develop a Risk control action plan: Following completion of the risk rating, you now need to form an Action Plan using the guidelines on action described below and recording them on the risk assessment Action Plan provided at Appendix 1. Where there has been a significant accident/incident, the relevant risk assessment will require a review in order to establish whether or not additional control measures are required. Low A risk rating of low indicates that the control measures in place are generally effective and should be maintained at the current level. Review of the assessment should be undertaken annually, unless there are significant changes in, for example working practices or personnel undertaking the activity. Page 5 of 10

6 Medium The level of risk is higher, so the aim here is to review the current control measures and seek improvement so as to reduce the risk. Additional control measures identified in the Action Plan should be given realistic deadlines reflecting the urgency of the action required. Where the solutions are of a practical nature and could be actioned immediately, this should be done. Overall, the actions identified should not take more than 3 months to complete, including arrangements for provision of appropriate training and instruction for staff. A review date for this assessment should be set at no more than 6 months. High Immediate suspension of this activity is necessary whilst a complete review of current control measures is undertaken. The review should take account of any relevant documentation, eg accident/incident and near miss investigation/reports, research, case studies, HSE guidance etc. The Action Plan for this level of risk ought to reflect timescales set for both temporary and permanent control measures, the temporary measures being put in place within 7 days (at which point work may resume if it is safe to do so) and the permanent within one month. A review of this assessment should be undertaken every month to ensure the effectiveness of the additional control measures. Any staff (or contractors) likely to be affected by the risk assessment must be informed of the outcomes and provided with any appropriate instruction and training required, with adequate supervision where identified Additional controls should be implemented and maintained to further reduce the risk. In applying control measures make sure that all options are assessed. Consideration should be given to best practice and the use of up to date technology (It is critical that the actions identified are practical and cost effective). Action plans should be appended to the assessment form and actions signed off by the responsible person, as they are implemented/completed Use the hierarchy of controls when considering techniques for reducing the hazards. 1. Elimination- Remove the hazard 2. Substitution-Replace the process or chemical with a less harmful one 3. Isolation- Use barriers or segregation 4. Safe systems of work- Procedures 5. Training 6. Signage and information 7. Personal protective equipment-as a last resort 5.12 Risk assessments will be used to determine the level of training and instruction given to for each task or activity. Risk control measures will be integrated into operational plans and work instructions. Where the full implementation cannot be achieved in time, temporary measures should be implemented to reduce the risk to a significant/acceptable level Record and review Record any significant findings using attached form. Managers must inform staff of risk assessment for their activities and controls and actions to be taken Send a copy to departmental health and safety team. Store copy on the local health and safety file. Monitor the implementation of control measures using the action plan. Page 6 of 10

7 Review the risk assessment every two years or following a major accident/incident or after changes in workplace processes or structure 6. Specific and Individual Assessments: 6.1 The general risk assessment will identify hazards that require further assessment in the form of specific and individual assessments. 6.2 Specific assessments are legally required if the general risk assessment has identified that there is a significant risk in the workplace. Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), including biological risks. Manual Handling Noise Fire Workplace Equipment 6.3 Individual risk assessments are required in the following circumstances: New and expectant mothers. Young persons. A young person is legally defined as person who is under the age of 18 and above the age of 16, the current minimum school leaving age. A Young person s risk assessment is a legal duty and is required before they can commence work. Staff with a medical condition or disability. For service users in relation to their specific needs and the activities they are undertaking, including transport operations, moving and handling and the potential for violence and aggression. 6.4 Details of the specific risk assessment requirements are given in the guidance produced to the specific issues. 7. Further advice and information: Advice and information on risk assessments can be obtained from: Dave Norwich (H&S Manager) Lee Tapping (H&S Manager) Jonathan Ely (H&S Advisor) Justina Onuorah (H&S Project Co-ordinator) Page 7 of 10

8 RISK ASSESSMENT FORM Appendix 1 LIKELIHOOD SEVERITY Unlikely Likely Highly Likely Inevitable Trivial Low Low Low Medium Minor Injury Low Medium Medium High Significant Low Medium High High Harm Major Injury/Death Medium High High High Unlikely has not occurred before Trivial minor cuts, abrasions and bruising ` Likely has occurred previously Minor Injury Serious muscle damage, such as strain, ache or pain, Highly Likely Is possible to occur Lacerations, Likely to result in 1-3 days off work. Inevitable Will happen Significant Harm Concussion, Fractures, dislocations, likely to result in over 3 days away from work. Major Injury/Death Fatality, long term injuries / illness Low A risk rating of low indicates that the control measures in place are generally effective and should be maintained at the current level. Review of the assessment should be undertaken annually, unless there are significant changes in, for example working practices or personnel undertaking the activity. Medium The level of risk is higher, so the aim here is to review the current control measures and seek improvement so as to reduce the risk. Additional control measures identified in the Action Plan should be given realistic deadlines reflecting the urgency of the action required. Where the solutions are of a practical nature and could be actioned immediately, this should be done. Overall, the actions identified should not take more than 3 months to complete, including arrangements for provision of appropriate training and instruction for staff. A review date for this assessment should be set at no more than 6 months. High Immediate suspension of this activity is necessary whilst a complete review of current control measures is undertaken. The review should take account of any relevant documentation, eg accident/incident and near miss investigation/reports, research, case studies, HSE guidance etc. The Action Plan for this level of risk ought to reflect timescales set for both temporary and permanent control measures, the temporary measures being put in place within 7 days (at which point work may resume if it is safe to do so) and the permanent within one month. A review of this assessment should be undertaken every month to ensure the effectiveness of the additional control measures. Any staff (or contractors) likely to be affected by the risk assessment must be informed of the outcomes and provided with any appropriate instruction and training required, with adequate supervision where identified.

9 Name of School/Centre/Team Assessor(s) Address Contact Date of Assessment Review Date No. ACTIVITY/TASK HAZARDS/ASSOCIATED RISKS WHO MAY BE AFFECTED CURRENT CONTROL MEASURES LIKELIHOOD SEVERITY RISK RATING Further Control Measures and Actions Required are detailed on Page 3 Page 9 of 10

10 Further Control Measures to be implemented RISK ASSESSMENT FORM (ACTION PLAN) Name of School/Centre/Team Assessor(s) Address Date of Assessment Contact Review Date Hazard No. Action/Further Control Measures Actionee(s) Deadline Completed (Name/Sig) Page 10 of 10

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