Types of Risk assessment you need to know about
Having a hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA) process at your company is one the most essential thing to do. This ensures your company is compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Many companies lose millions of rands annually because of lack of understating the necessity of risk assessment.
In terms of the OHSAct (85 of 1993), all employers are required to conduct an occupational health risk assessments, in order to identify possible hazards in the workplace and to quantify the risks. BlueCollar has experience and knowledge to carry out risk assessments in a wide range of industries, firm and work situations. As part of managing the health and safety of your business, you must control the risks in your workplace. To do this you need to think about what might cause harm to people and decide to take reasonable steps to prevent that harm.
Most incidents in the workplace happen because of insufficient and inadequate management controls. One important way of ensuring your company identifies hazards, monitors and assesses safety risks is to do a complete and proper risk assessment of your workplace. Risk assessment according to Risk training Solutions refers to, “the process of evaluating risks to workers’ safety and health from hazards at the workplace,’ says the organization. Risk assessment is a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to the workers, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm.
Types of Risk Assessment
Here are some of risks assessments you must conduct in your workplace
Baseline Risk Assessment
Baseline risk assessment is the initial assessment of risk in a workplace. It is a broad assessment and includes all activities taking place on site. Tinus Boshoff says, “the purpose of conducting a baseline HIRA is to establish a risk profile or a set of risk profiles, priorities action programmes for issue-based risk assessments,” he says. It is performed to obtain a benchmark of types and size of potential hazards that may greatly affect the business. They first need to identify the main and significant risks, then prioritize these risks and evaluate the effectiveness of current systems for risk control.
Examples of baseline risk assessments
- Fire Risk Assessments
- Environmental Impact and Aspect Registers
- Hygiene and Health Surveys (Noise, Lighting, Ventilation, Temperature Extremes)
Issues Based Risk Assessment (Issue-based HIRA)
The purpose of this type of assessment is to conduct a detailed assessment study that will result in the development of action plan for treatment of vital risk. Tinus Boshoff says, “This type of assessment is normally focused on at operational activities, processes, and systems based business functions”. Issue-based assessment focuses the identification of the risks within a certain activity, task, and process and is usually associated with the management of change. Boshoff adds: “risk profiles from the baseline HIRA form the basis for establishing issue-based HIRA programmes,” he says. Examples of issue-based risk assessments are:
- A new machine is introduced at the site
- A system of work or an operation is changed
- After an accident or a ‘near-miss’ has occurred
- new designs, layouts, equipment, or processes, etc
- Task risk assessments & a change in the risk profile
- new knowledge and information becoming available on the level of risk to employees
- Environmental impact assessments and Major hazardous installations risk assessments
Continuous Risk Assessment
The continuous risk assessment according to Douglas Finn,” is an informal risk assessment performed on an on-going basis in the workplace,” he says. This is usually performed by a supervisor of a company, who will observe employees performing their tasks a part of his daily duties. Finn further says,” From this observation, the risk related to the specific performance of the task is assessed and the supervisor will stop the employee from continuing the task should it present too high risk,” he says.
The purpose of carrying out continuous HIRA is to:
- Gather information to feedback to baseline HIRA.
- Identify hazards with the purpose of immediately treating
- Gather information to feedback to issue-based HIRA
- Significant risks;
Specialized risk assessments
In the field of HIRA, there are several ways available methods for determining specific risks associated to a different workplace. These methods have a specific application and are used to achieve specific objectives. Health and Safety Advisor explains that” Once you have decided on which risk assessment to perform, you will also need to decide which model you will employ. In the field of hazard identification and risk assessment there are several ways available for establishing risk in the workplace,” states the organization.
Generic risk assessment
According to Health and Safety Advisor, “generic risk assessment is used where the same type of task is carried out at different workplaces in the same way (e.g. risk assessments of a number of warehouses storing similar goods),” says the firm. Conducting a generic risk assessment, perform a baseline risk assessment and then use the similar work activities that involve comparable risks.