View Full Version : Site Safety?

05-31-2009, 10:41 AM
We are required to fill out site assessments pointing out the hazards.

Risk Assessment and the safety management process a beginners guide

Five steps to risk assessment:
Step one: Look for the hazards.
Step two: Decide who might be harmed and how.
Step three: Evaluate the risks and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.
Step four: Record your findings.
Step five: Review your assessment and revisit it if necessary.

Step one: Look for the hazards

Step two: Decide who might be harmed and how
A Hazard is anything which has the potential to cause harm to people.
A Risk is the likelihood of the harm from a hazard being realised and the extent of it.

In the HAZARDS IDENTIFIED column of the risk assessment you should think about:
What is the hazard.
Who might be harmed by the hazard

For example:
Risk to public from marquee catching fire
Risk to participants from slips and trips caused by uneven road surface
Risk to participants from falling from vehicles
Risk to public from vehicles entering crowd area

To help you identify the potential hazards involved in your activity think carefully about all the people and processes involved. Talk to a range of other people involved in the activity to see what they consider the hazards to be.

You can get further help with identifying hazards from:
Examining relevant HSE publications
Examining manufactures instructions and guidance where relevant
Examining other relevant literature
Trade unions or associations
Health and safety advisers or HSE info line (0845 345 0055.)

Step three: Evaluate the risks
In order to evaluate the risks, first we need to establish the existing control measures.
For example:
Risk to public from marquee catching fire
Existing control measures -
No smoking signs in marquee
Marquees old but made of flame retardant materials
Access to marquee is restricted

Next we need to work out the hazard severity and likelihood of occurrence in order to give us the overall risk rating. I have used High / Medium / Low. Alternatively you can use numbers.

Hazard severity:
(Given the existing control measures in place) If it happens how bad would it be?
Not that bad? (Low) Pretty bad? (Medium) or very bad? (High.)
In the marquee example the hazard severity would be high

likelihood of occurrence:
(Given the existing control measures in place) How likely is it to happen?
Not that bad? (Low) Pretty bad? (Medium) or very bad? (High.)
In the marquee example the likelihood of occurrence would be low

The risk rating is the average of the Hazard severity and the likelihood of occurrence.
In the marquee example the risk rating would be medium

Step three: Decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done
You need to decide whether the existing control measures are sufficient given the risk rating. If not list additional measures here which will reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

Health and safety law requires you to do what is reasonably practicable to protect the health and safety of employees and other persons who may be affected by your activity. Reasonably practical implies a balance between the benefit of an action and its cost. Low risks are generally acceptable although you should still look at them to see if they can be reduced further. Medium or high risks should be reduced. If you cannot do this you may need to consider changing the work activity or practices to eliminate the hazard.

Use the risk rating to guide you when thinking about control measures. High risk activities will require more immediate and thorough attention than low or medium risk activities. When deciding what control measures are required you should take account of what the law requires you to do (for example, specific Regulations which relate to the risk) and available guidance on good practice (for example, Health and Safety Executive or other guidance.)

The Health and Safety executive has outlined a hierarchy of principles for the application of control measures identified during the process of Risk Assessment:
Avoid the risk
Evaluate risks that cannot be avoided
Combat the risks at source
Adapt the work to the individual
Make technical adaptations as appropriate
Replace dangerous work with non-dangerous or less dangerous work
Develop a prevention policy
Give priority to collective prevention measures
Provide instruction as appropriate

In our marquee example we might come up with the following list of additional control measures required:
Investigate if flame retardancy standard of marquee (BSS) is still up to date and report back to committee
Locate steward in marquee to monitor no smoking, storage of material and electrical equipment use.

In the final section of the assessment you should state who is responsible and give a final date for completion. Also state the 'how' if relevant.
For example, for the first control measure above:
M Higgins through web research / contact BSS by 12.012.08.

Step four: Record your findings
Employers with more than 5 employees must record their risk assessments in writing, however, it is good practice and sound safety management for everyone to make a written record of their risk assessments.

Step five: Review your assessment and revisit it if necessary
Risk assessments should be reviewed (looked at again and changed if necessary) where there has been a significant change or where there is some other reason to believe that the assessment may no longer be valid. Even where you are aware of no reason to review the assessment it should still be reviewed annually to ensure that it is still relevant, up to date and effective.

When reviewing a risk assessment you should look for evidence of the effectiveness of the control measures identified. A good way to do this is through looking at what accidents, injuries and other incidents have been reported and by talking to people involved with the activity in question. A risk assessment that is not proving effective will need to be looked at again.

Do any of you have to do these in order to vend etc?