The words risk assessment seem to strike fear into people but they are essential within the workplace.
I've just completed the IOSH 4 days course and it totally took me out of my comfort zone, but I still manged to pass with flying colours.
Lets face it, H&S effects everyone in the work place and we all need to take responsibility for it, even me, a Commercial Director with limited H&S expertise. I managed to face the fear, help the business, and help my team have a safe working environment.
If we have a look at the Health and Safety at Work regulations, number 3 is about Risk Assessments. This gives guidance for the completing of the risk assessments. The main issue tends we come across is whether they are actually suitable and sufficient for the work being carried out, the key words being Suitable and Sufficient.
Who should do the assessment?
The biggest problem with this is usually who carried out the assessments in the first place. In many companies this tends be someone who doesn’t actually do the job being assessed – which can mean that they are not fully aware of all the risks associated with it. Therefore the best risk assessments will always be from the people who actually carry out the work – they are generally well aware of all the pitfalls that the job entails.
Another problem is companies with 5 employees or less, who seem to assume that they do not have to do risk assessments. This is not the case, what the regulation states is that if you have five or more employees that your risk assessments need to be recorded, either on paper or through electronic means. Nowhere does it state that as a small company you can ignore risk assessments. As a small company you still need to carry out the risk assessment it just doesn’t need to be recorded. It is all about the level of risk, how hazardous the work and how it is documented regardless of whether you have less than 5 employees.
What Skills Do I Need?
The IOSH Managing Safely course gives you the skill and confidence to carry out risk assessments making your workplace safe and sound and ensuring that you have the knowledge you need.