6. Risk Assessment

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6. RISK ASSESSMENT 6. Risk Assessment Risk assessment is identifying dangers and stress in your workplace and estimating their affect. Risk assessment is used to plan and prioritize accidents prevention measures. According to Occupational Health and Safety Act the employer must analyze and identify the hazards and risk factors caused by the work, working premises or other aspects of the working environ- ment and working conditions. The identified dangers and risks must be eliminated or the risk level needs to be minimized. The consequences of the hazards and risk factors to the employees’ safety and health have to be assessed. Risk assessment should be done in advance at the planning stage, when it is easier and cheaper to carry out the improvements. Planning of risk assessment Risk assessment starts with planning. When planning, the goal and schedule of the assessment will be defined, an assessment team chosen, initial data collected, and the method for risk assessment chosen. When putting the team together, it is good to choose team members that are capable of making decisions, know their work area, and can implement what has been decided. A team leader needs to be chosen. He is responsible for coordination of the assessment process. At the planning stage it is good to define the object of the assessment, i.e. based on the jobs, premises, departments, or workshops. Before starting the assessment process it is important to arrange training for the assessment team. Everyone should identify hazards associated with their work and make a personal risk assessment on a daily basis before starting work. It doesn’t take much time. Ask yourself several questions. Do I have the necessary instructions, enough knowledge and skills, proper work tools? Can anything go wrong? If yes then how and what consequences it can lead to? How to avoid damage? Decision to start work or suspend work until the safe performance is insured can be based on risk assessment. There are several different methods and programs that can be used for systematic risk assessment. This safety manual presents one simple model of risk assess- ment that could be used by a company. 17


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