As an employer, there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, and the law states that it is your duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees. Specifically, under Section 19 of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005, you must assess all risks in the workplace, and therefore, risk assessments should be carried out addressing anything that may cause harm.
No matter what industry you are working in, it is essential to be aware of what risk assessments are and why they are so important. If you’re trying to expand your knowledge in this regard, keep reading today. Phoenix STS have put together a basic, easy to understand guide to risk assessments.
What are risk assessments?
The most common definition of a risk assessment is; ‘a systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in a projected activity or undertaking’. More simply put, it is essentially a term used to describe the overall process of identifying hazards, analysing any risks associated with these hazards and also finding ways to eliminate the hazards or control the risks related to the hazards.
Essentially, a risk assessment is a thorough look at your workplace and your overall business property to identify anything that may cause harm to people such as employees, cleaners, visitors, contractors and the general public. You will need to assess things, situations, processes etc. and it is important to ensure that nothing is overlooked in this regard.
There are also many different types of risk assessments that you can undertake, and it is important to ensure that you carry out all that is related to your business. Some common types of risk assessments are; fire safety risk assessments, manual handling risk assessments and COSHH risk assessments.
Why are risk assessments important?
There are numerous reasons why risk assessments are important and the first and foremost being the fact that they are an integral part of your health and safety management plan and, as mentioned above, it is also a legal requirement so shouldn’t be overlooked. Failing to undertake risk assessments can be detrimental to your business, not only can you be given fines or potentially be taken to court, but you will also experience a huge negative impact on your brand reputation.
Of course, risk assessments are also incredibly important because they are designed to help ensure that a workplace is safe for all employees or anyone visiting. In general, they help to;
- Create awareness of both hazards and the risks of these hazards
- Identify who may be affected by the hazards and who may be most at risk
- Determine which measures need to be put in place to protect those at risk
- Prevent injuries or illnesses that could be caused by these hazards
It is important to remember that, in order to ensure your risk assessments stay effective, they should be monitored and reviewed regularly. You want to ensure that the risk assessment was accurate and that any measures put in place are still effective. Of course, you also need to be aware of any new hazards or hazards that have changed too.
Developing your understanding of risk assessments
Now that you’re aware of the basics relating to risk assessments, it is advisable that, if you’re an employer, then you should go on to develop your understanding in this regard. There are various courses that you can undertake to ensure that you are doing all you can to not only be compliant but, to also protect everyone in your workplace. The same way you may consider undertaking something like health and safety training, you should undertake risk assessment training.
To find out more about the different risk assessment training programs that are available to you, visit the Phoenix STS website today. We can offer you a range of different courses from introduction courses to specialised fire risk assessor training, so there really is something available to meet the needs of all employers. If you have any questions at all or you’re not sure which course to choose, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.