- Risk management is the process of evaluating the chance of loss or harm and then taking steps to combat the potential risk.
Whether you run a large-scale industrial plant or a small office, risk management is a necessary part of your day-to-day business activities. The action of identifying and prioritising risks in the workplace, followed by making changes to minimise and reduce these risks are the fundamental principles of risk management that should not be overlooked! If not adequately addressed, unknown risks can result in accidents, injuries, loss of productivity, damaged products/equipment, and leave your business open to penalties and fines.
Risk management is encompassed in the overall health and safety policy which you are required to have in place by law if you have five or more employees. As an employer, you must control the risks in your workplace and to do this, you’ll need to think about what may or may not cause harm to people. You’ll then must decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm from occurring, this is known as a “risk assessment”.
The HSE describes a risk assessment as a “careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm”. Contrary to popular belief by those less experienced, a risk assessment is not solely for the purpose of creating reams of extra paperwork. The chances are, you are probably already identifying and taking appropriate measures to control risks in your workplace, but having a structured risk management process in place will help you verify that you have covered all the necessary steps to conduct comprehensive risk assessments. These including the following key actions:
Identify the hazards.
Look for hazards around the workplace, decide what harm they may cause. Do you have any control over them? Are the precautions already taken adequate to deal with the risks?
Decide who might be harmed and how.
Once you have identified a number of hazards you need to understand who might be harmed and how, such as ‘people working in the warehouse’, or members of the public. Who comes into the workplace? How are they at risk?
Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions.
After ‘identifying the hazards’ and ‘deciding who might be harmed and how’ you are then required to protect the people from harm. The hazards could either be eradicated or the risks controlled so that injury is unlikely.
Record your findings and implement.
Your conclusions should be written down (it’s a legal requirement when there are 5 or more employees), and by recording the findings, it should clearly show that you have identified the hazards, decided who could be harmed and how, and also shows how you plan to eliminate the risks and dangers.
Review your risk assessment and update as is necessary.
Regularly review the assessment. If any significant changes take place, make sure existing precautions and management arrangements are still adequate to deal with the risks.
What does this mean for your business?
I understand that not all businesses can accommodate the overhead cost of directly employing a Health and Safety Manager to ensure that risk management is governed appropriately and that risk assessments are adequately conducted and reported.
But even though risk assessments are a legal requirement, it does not mean these duties must be carried out in-house. They can be outsourced to a competent and qualified advisor. KS Health and Safety Consultancy offers a flexible outsourcing solution that ensures you’ll have all the support you need, at a fraction of the cost of directly employing a health and safety manager.
Why choose KS Health and Safety Consultancy?
As an experienced and trusted HSE professional I have delivered tailored and comprehensive health, safety and environmental management consulting and compliance services to multi-sector clients worldwide.
From corporate level assignments to large EPC portfolios and facility-specific projects, I have a solid understanding of international regulatory requirements, standards, as well as emerging methods.
I specialise in mentoring, coaching and training multidisciplinary project and management teams on all health and safety practices. All work undertaken complies with current legislation and provides best-in-class HSE solutions.
On a personal level, I am a truly passionate individual who believes in doing the right thing, enabling all operations to be safe and efficient ones. This commitment has been recognised by some of the world’s leading engineering and oil services companies with numerous awards.