Every workplace no matter the industry has hazards. Hazards have the potential to cause injury, harm or damage and for this reason being able to identify hazards and control them is crucial to keeping your workforce safe, and property free from damage. Tools such as risk assessment forms and job safety analysis worksheets are ideal for managing risk, but when should they be used? We help clear up this common question below.
Risk Assessment: Starting a New Job Hazard Identification
A risk assessment form is a tool used in the planning stage of a project. It is used to identify hazards, assess risk, and reduce risk by establishing safety control measures (preventative measures) to prevent harm to life, health, property, or the environment.
A risk assessment should be completed prior to the commencement of any works and can assist in the development of a site-specific Safe Work Method Statement.
The four step process for managing risks:
1. Identify the hazards
- Involve workers involved in the task in identifying potential hazards
2. Assess the risks
- Determine the likelihood the effect will occur
- Determine the risk score
- What actions should be taken to control the risks
3. Manage the risks
To determine the best course of action for minimising risks, the WHS legislation requires Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) to follow the hierarchy of control. There are six phases in the hierarchy of control, beginning with those that are the most effective to those that are the least effective at managing risks.
- Elimination – the elimination of an identified hazard, so far as is reasonably practicable, provides the most effective solution. In the event that elimination of the hazard is not reasonably practicable, the PCBU must consider the below control measures.
- Substitution – Replace the process or use an alternative plant to minimise risk.
- Isolation – Isolating persons from the hazard.
- Engineering – Implementing engineering controls such as equipment redesign or modification to processes.
- Administrative controls – Guide actions and behaviours by promoting safe practices through training, signage, policies, and processes.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Use personal protective equipment to minimise risk.
The use of administrative controls and PPE should be used in conjunction with other control measures, and never alone.
4. Monitor & Review
Ensure the control measures are implemented and monitored effectively.
A Risk Assessment should be reviewed:
- if controls fail to reduce risk adequately
- when changes to the workplace or work activity occur that create new / different risks, or risk levels, where controls may no longer be effective
- new hazards or risks are identified
- after an incident involving work activities relevant to the Risk Assessment
- during consultation if relevant persons indicate a review is needed
Job Safety Analysis: Day to Day Hazard Identification
Change is inevitable, especially when conditions can change significantly within the day-to-day operations of a work site. Where there is change, the need to continuously monitor conditions is paramount in reducing risk.
A Job Safety Analysis (JSA)Worksheet is a task-oriented risk assessment that can assist in monitoring changing conditions. A JSA should be completed upon arrival to site each day, with the purpose of identifying site-specific hazards that weren’t present the day before. Undertaking a JSA prompts those involved in the work task / activity to consider their work environment carefully and assess the risks of the job prior to starting work.
A JSA can also assist in the continued development of your SWMS. As new hazards are identified, risks which are new or different may emerge, deeming control measures identified no longer effective. In this case a review of your SWMS should take place to factor in additional hazards, risks, control measures and risk ratings.
Risk is inherent in all industries, with tools such as risk assessment forms and job safety analysis worksheets designed to enable the early detection of hazards. Remember it is important that workers continue to look for hazards in the workplace at all times and not just during risk management activities such as Job Safety Analysis worksheets and risk assessments.
SafetyCulture has a number of risk assessment forms and a job safety analysis worksheet available for $9.95 + GST. To find out more click the links below