18/07/2006

New revamped guidance to simplify risk assessments

Risk Management involves you, the employer, looking at the risks that arise in
the workplace and then putting sensible health and safety measures in place to
control them. By doing this you can protect your most valuable asset, your
employees, as well as members of the public from harm.

As an employer, the law requires you to assess and manage health and safety
risks - for most businesses this is not difficult to do. The British Health and
Safety Executive (HSE) today urged businesses to spend less time dotting 'i's
and crossing 't's and more time on putting practical actions into effect. To
help companies do this HSE has issued a revamped risk assessment guide
featuring examples that spell out, in plain English, what is ­ and what is not
­ expected.

Launching the guidance, HSE's Deputy Chief Executive, Jonathan Rees, said: "We
want to save lives, not tie businesses up in red tape ­ good risk assessment is
the way to achieve this. Risk assessment is at the heart of sensible health and
safety. We believe it should be a practical way of protecting people from real
harm and suffering, not a bureaucratic back-covering exercise. On its own
paperwork never saved a life, it needs to be a means to an end, resulting in
actions that protect people in practice.

"I hope that this new, more straightforward guidance will help managers
understand what's expected of them and get more focus on the kind of risks that
cause real harm and suffering ­ the ones that killed 220 workers last year and
resulted in 35 million working days being lost. This guide takes the user
through the process step-by-step with the minimum of fuss to achieve this aim."

The guidance Five Steps to Risk Assessment, which was first published in 1993,
has been revised and simplified to make it even easier for normal business
people, not just health and safety experts, to use. It also places greater
emphasis on making sure that decisions are actually put into practice.

The booklet provides advice and tips on five key elements to an effective risk
assessment:

  • identifying the hazards;
  • deciding who might be harmed and how;
  • evaluating the risks and deciding on precautions;
  • recording findings and implementing them; and finally
  • ensuring they are reviewed at regular intervals.

This is supported by four examples of what a risk assessment might look like.
The examples help emphasise that risk assessment need not be difficult and the
paperwork need not be long and complicated. For most, bullet points work very
well.

Further info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Health & Safety Executive