Ever wonder why you need things called risk assessments, well I, Magenta, am here to tell you why. Ever since the health and safety at work act 1974 they advised those in the building industry to look at the risks in their day to day work, like carrying a heavy load, or using the same piece of machinery repeatedly for a long length of time. These tasks were just part and parcel of being in the building trade, however after many years of abuse on the body, doctors and other professionals decided that enough was enough and they decided that in this legislation they would introduce risk assessments.
So how do we risk assess?
Now this blog is not here to put you on the path of becoming the next Health and Safety bod, however how can you as a business use something you do not understand. We assess risks so that they can be controlled so that ill health and accidents are minimized for the workforce. So each task that you do In your job can actually be risk assessed, from carrying paper to working at your desk to brick laying.
So you can use two types of risk assessment which are commonly used and practiced by the safety bods, one system is low, medium, high, the other is a numbered system which here at Sphere we prefer to use, it gives you a more accurate outlook on the level of risk you are facing a work, and finally how it can be reduced. The numbers vary from 1-25, 1 being the safest option, and 25 being the most dangerous. When the numbers are used in risk assessments they are given in two instances when the control measures are used and when they are not.
Why do we do two estimations in risk assessments?
We give two estimations of risk when writing a risk assessment they both represent the risk of a task but they also represent a risk rating with and without control measures. Control measures are used in order to control risk which could include something like an RCD on your electrical hand held tools. These control measures are important because they actually help control risks, and their risk rating.
So why do we need them?
The fundamental thing about risk assessments is if you employ more than 5 people you simply have to do them as part of your job, under 5 employees then you may not have to have them written down but they have to still be done, which is the biggest misconception of all really, so if you have them written down make sure you come to sphere and we can make sure they are up to spec so that any HSE inspector will be buffeted away by their sheer power.
Thanks for reading and have a fun but safe week.