Risk Assessments

First published on Thursday, Feb 10, 2022

Last updated on Friday, Jun 07, 2024

As an employer, you have a duty of care to keep your employees safe. It’s important you understand the risks and hazards in the workplace.

It’s your responsibility to spot any risks and ensure your workplace is as safe as possible. The last thing you need is an employee being involved in an accident, leading to a heavy fine to pay.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what risk assessments are, why you should undertake one, and how to carry one out successfully.

What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is a review carried out to identify any potential hazards that can cause harm to your employees.

They’re performed to control and manage risks to reduce their impact on business operations. Use the correct risk assessment techniques to ensure you complete it properly.

Risk assessments should be important to you as they make up a vital part of your occupational health and safety program.

What is the primary goal of a risk assessment?

The primary goal of a risk assessment is to create a safe working environment for your employees. Some hazards are unavoidable, but a risk assessment can help you minimize and implement control measures where needed.

There are four main purposes of a risk assessment:

  • Identify and raise awareness of hazards and risks.
  • Eliminate, control, and reduce the health and safety risks.
  • Communicate these actions to employees.
  • Complying with requirements from any safety data sheets.

When should a risk assessment be carried out?

Although undertaking a risk assessment isn’t a legal requirement under the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), you should undertake one annually.

Carry out risk assessments when:

  • New hazards are identified in the workplace.
  • Any changes to existing processes are made, such as new products, tools, or equipment that can cause harm.
  • Any time changes are made to the site.

Before starting the assessment, you need to plan correctly. This involves the resources needed, which laws and regulations you need to adhere to, and a detailed plan of the route which’ll be taken.

Who performs a risk assessment?

Performing a risk assessment is the duty of the employer. However, you may choose to involve your health and safety manager or any employees where possible.

Whoever undertakes the assessment should sign the document. This will stop any potential conflict in the future.

How to carry out a risk assessment

Use the below steps to carry out a thorough risk assessment.

The risk assessment process is as follows:

  • Perform a detailed walk around your site and identify any potential hazards.
  • Consider how likely these hazards are to cause harm to employees.
  • Put in place any actions to reduce, control, and eliminate the overall risk of harm.
  • Evaluate the hazard to confirm if it’s appropriately controlled or eliminated.
  • Ensure you document the processes that you’ve taken correctly and monitor the risk on a regular basis.

Get help with risk assessments today with BrightHR

Keeping your employees safe from risks and hazards in the workplace is extremely important. Carrying out workplace risk assessments will keep your workplace as safe as possible. Not keeping your staff safe can land you in legal trouble.

BrightHR has a range of tools that can help keep your workforce safe. Our BrightSafe online health and safety software allows you to manage your risk assessments and record any hazards.

Contact us on 18882204924

Thea Watson

Chief International Growth and Marketing Officer

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