It is crucial for employers to protect their employees, they are even required by law to do so. When your employees feel protected and safe they perform better, and they feel more connected to the workplace. This helps you avoid unnecessary risks, which is good for your business because it saves you time and money. The last thing any employer needs is to be known for putting their employees in danger and being constantly sued. Getting sued can cause real damage to your reputation to the point where it could bankrupt your business. This is why you should have a plan when you manage risk assessment in order to save time and money.
You must be aware of anything that may cause harm to your employees, be it physical, mental, biological, or chemical. In order to identify hazards, you must inspect the work site regularly. There are many things that can harm your employees like defective equipment or dangerous work practices, so you need to inspect everything regularly to prevent any disaster before it happens. A good employer should always hear from their employees directly, this is why you should interview your employees and managers periodically. Interviewing your workers will allow them to voice their concerns and will create mutual trust. This will also increase morale because your employees will feel that they are heard and understood. If you find any potential hazards, you should create a hazard map of the worksite and mark any potential risks. Your workers should be involved in the process to increase safety awareness in the workplace.
Assess The Risk
After you identify the hazards and talk to your employees, you will have a full understanding of what the risks are. The second step is to minimize risk by assessing it. You have to ask all the right questions; is there anything being done to control the risk? When is any action going to take place and by whom? And who might get hurt and how? In many cases, the workers aren’t the only ones who may get hurt, anyone on the premises like clients, visitors, or staff could also get hurt. This is why work routines in all locations must be reviewed. Employers are responsible for all employees especially the young, pregnant, disabled, and night workers. In other words, vulnerable workers are more likely to get in an accident at work.
Control The Risks
You should ask yourself if it is possible to eliminate the hazard altogether, and if you can’t figure out a way to do so then you should try to control it. In order to control the risk, you will be required to do a few changes, like replacing the machines or materials that put your employees in danger. If your employees are being exposed to dangerous materials, then you should find a way to reduce their exposure to these materials. You should also provide your employees with protective equipment if they are working with heavy machinery, and make sure that they wear this equipment whenever they are working with them. Your workers must be involved in all these decisions, to make sure that everything you propose will work and that it will not introduce new hazards. Needless to say, you are not expected to eliminate all risks, but you should still do everything in your power to protect your workers.
Record Your Findings
You should make a record of all your important findings of the hazards, the assessment of the risks, how people may be harmed, and what your plans are to control these risks. You must keep all your records simple and focused on controls. Recording your findings and having everything documented will help you communicate and manage risks in the workplace. This isn’t really too much work, so you don’t have to worry, all you need to do is write down the main points about your findings. These points must cover that:
- You or another employee made a proper check
- You found out who might be affected
- You dealt with the significant hazards
- The precautions were sensible
- Your employees were involved in the process
At some workplaces, the nature of the work changes frequently like on a construction site, in this case, your assessment has to focus on a broad range of risks. If your record includes more than one hazard, then you should list them in order of importance, and you should also provide solutions for the most dangerous risks.
Risk assessment shows that you care about the people that work for you, and the time and money you will save by doing so, can definitely be put to better use. This will also improve productivity as people tend to do a better job when they aren’t worried about their safety and when their morale is high. Remember fewer accidents and injuries mean fewer insurance costs.