Risk management is a powerful tool for identifying and minimising hazards that exist in the workplace. Once identified, some of these hazards can be completely eliminated. Others can be controlled to some degree, giving you increased control over risks that pose threats to your employees.
Managed properly, this checklist can become a guideline for your company as it reaches compliance, reduces workplace stress and hazards, and increases productivity and profitability.
Depending on your industry and unique business, you may need to make adjustments to these items. For a comprehensive risk management checklist, get a free demo of our OHS software. Let’s get started with the basics.
Identification of Hazards
The first step in risk management is to identify the hazards that need to be controlled. This should include the situations, locations and physical items that could cause harm to people - whether those people are your customers, your workers or visitors.
Common hazards include items in the physical work environment, equipment, chemicals or other substances or structural issues. Don’t limit your search to the items you can physically see, however. Excessive noise, fumes and high or low temperatures can also create unsafe working conditions.
One of the best ways to identify hazards is to consult all of your employees. They work closely with equipment and machinery that you may never touch. They know a great deal about their surroundings, and their input is invaluable when it comes to risk management.
Assessment of Identified Risks
Once you’ve identified potential hazards, it’s time to evaluate each of them. You’ll need to determine how severe each risk is and whether you have any existing control measures that could be effective in minimising or eliminating it.
With this information, you can determine what action you should take to control the risk. At this point you can also prioritise the work ahead of you. Which risks demand the most urgency? Which ones can wait a while?
Taking Control of the Risks
Remember that the best control measures are those that eliminate risks completely. If it’s not possible to eliminate them completely, minimise them as far as is reasonably possible. Be creative as you seek means by which to eliminate risks. In some cases, a single control may not be as effective as a combination of different controls that work together to minimise the risk.
As you review your list, you’ll see that some risks are easy to control and can be managed right away. Others may take significant planning, brainstorming and strategising.
It’s important to remember that risk management isn’t a one-time task. Workers change, your workplace changes and you bring in new equipment and technology as time goes on. Therefore, risk management should be an ongoing project. Many Australian businesses find that they can maintain effective risk management by scheduling assessments on a regular basis to update any new risks and evaluate their progress.
Tackling Risk Management
With your efforts consumed by the day-to-day management of your business, risk management can seem like a burden that’s more trouble than it’s worth. The truth is, however, that reducing your risk will save you time and money in the future when you don’t have to deal with accidents and harm to your valuable employees.
If the prospect of risk management feels burdensome, get some help. Our OHS software makes risk management much easier, supplying you with comprehensive risk management checklists, compliance-ready best practices and effortless communication between team members. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. You can use our intelligent way to manage your risk, health and safety obligations.
Get a free demo of our software to see for yourself, and contact us at Vault if you have further questions.
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