Risk assessment can be defined as “the identification, evaluation, and estimation of the levels of risks involved in a situation, their comparison against benchmarks or standards, and determination of an acceptable level of risk.”
In other words, risk assessment imposes an obligation upon the employer to assess as to what risks are present to the employee at your workplace, so that you can work upon it and evaluate if enough precautions are taken against it or there is room for more. There are five steps involved in any risk assessment. These include-
- Identifying the hazards
- Deciding who might be harmed and how?
- Evaluating the risk and deciding the control measures
- Recording the findings
- Reviewing the risk assessment
Risk Assessment Checklist
Step 1- Identifying The Hazards
Every employer must identify the risks associated with his organisation so that a proper risk assessment procedure could be carried out. These hazards are not only physical like noise, dust, heavy machinery, etc.; but may also be mental like long working hours, excessive workload, bullying, etc.; biological like infectious diseases or communicable diseases which have a likelihood of affecting many workers.
A hazard, however, differs from risks as the former refers to “something with the potential to cause harm” whereas the latter refers to “the likelihood of that potential harm being realised”.
Step 2- Deciding Who Might Be Harmed And How
After identifying the hazards, the persons who are likely to get affected by it should also be individually analysed. This helps in not only generating a comprehensive analysis of the risks but also a proper evaluation of the outcomes of the hazards and the people affected by it.
Along with the employer, the employees also play a role in this step as they can help assess the risks at their level in a better way. Individual identification of people, however, should not mean listing everyone’s name in front of the supposed risk, it rather implies identifying people in groups and then assessing the risks they might be prone to and how.
Step 3- Evaluating The Risks And Deciding The Control Measures
Once the risks and the person likely to suffer have been identified, the next step involves the evaluation of these risks. During the assessment, the risks should be categorised into three categories- high, medium or low based on their effect.
There are certain risks which cannot be prevented even if all the necessary steps are undertaken; hence what is required is that the employer should undertake a reasonable and practical approach while evaluating the risks and decide the control measures accordingly.
Step 4- Recording The Findings
To avoid any legal issue, it is essential to record all the findings in written and maintain proper records. These records should be updated from time to time and should include all the details as to the prevalent risks, people likely to get affected and how, evaluating the risks and deciding the control measures.
Complete and updated records also serve as valid proof of risk assessment being carried out at an organisation and in the long run helps get a bigger picture of how the organisation has been functioning.
Step 5- Reviewing The Risk Assessment
It is very important to review the entire risk assessment after completing the mentioned steps as circumstances are likely to evolve after the first time you conducted the risk assessment and when you finally decide the measures to control them. The reviewing step is also essential for twofold reasons-
- It helps keep in check the existing risk management steps undertaken and how they are being implemented; and
- It also ensures that according to the changes made in the workplace, the risk assessment policies and measures should also be modified.
Thus reviewing the risk assessment and updating the necessary changes is imperative for every organisation. LetsComply acts as a Virtual CFO and helps business with their risk management and analysing where the weak points of business are. To know more, call us at +91-9717070500 or send us an email at email@example.com.