Risk Assessments – Who, What, Why?
So what is a risk assessment? Well to be honest it’s exactly what the name suggests. It’s a document that records the risks involved in carrying out a specific task and ensures a safe way to carry out the task. This applies wherever the task is to be carried out, be it in the workshop, out on site, retail unit or any other location.
What do you need to do?
The first consideration is to detail the task that you’re about to carry out, assess the area – is it likely to effect the public? The way the works are to be completed needs assessing and logging in a method statement. When added to the risk assessment this can form a task sheet for the works. So you need:
To complete a risk assessment.
Compile a method statement (to show the method the works will be carried out).
Combine the two to create a task sheet.
All considerations must be accounted for in the risk assessment dependant upon the task. For example:
Are there any services that could be a problem?
Are there other employees or public that could be effected?
Are work areas cordoned off or isolated?
Is a hot work permit required? If so provide fire extinguishers and other fire precaution equipment.
Do you need to work at height? If so you will need items like harnesses and to clear areas below where you are working.
Is the site clean?
All these factors need investigating and documenting.
Why do we carry out risk assessments?
The sole objective is safety, that is the safety of those carrying out the works, other personnel in the area and the general public. The benefits are not only about safety but often savings in time and costs are made by assessing the works in depth.
Who carries out a risk assessment?
A risk assessment can be carried out by any competent person but obviously some experience is preferable in the area of the works to be done. A risk assessment should be discussed and approved by the person compiling it, the supervisor and the client. All information should be recorded and put on file. This is where we would recommend you have a reputable health & safety partner to look after and compile you health & safety documentation.
As we mentioned earlier the the risk assessment can be combined with a method statement to form a task sheet which enables the total package to be in one document or folder. The method statement should cover all details of the works from delivery of the materials to the completion of all works and the cleaning up of the site. It should detail the method of fixing and the detail of lifting etc also. The combined document will contain contact details of all first aides, fire officers or marshals, local hospitals and other relevant information.
Ambercroft Solutions can provide one off risk assessment documents or full health & safety document packages ensuring you carry out a thorough risk assessment. Contact us for more details.