2.2 Explain the steps when carrying out a health a health and safety risk assessment;
2.2.1 – Identify the hazards (a hazard is anything that may cause harm)
One of the most important aspects of your risk assessment is accurately identifying the potential hazards in your workplace. A good starting point is to walk around your workplace and think about any hazards. In other words, what is it about the activities, processes or substances used that could injure your employees or harm their health?
When you work in a place everyday it is easy to overlook some hazards, so here are some tips to help you identify the ones that matter:
Check manufacturers' instructions or data sheets for chemicals and equipment as they can be very helpful in spelling out the hazards and putting them in their true perspective
Look back at your accident and ill-health records - these often help to identify the less obvious hazards
Take account of non-routine operations (eg maintenance, cleaning operations or changes in production cycles)
Remember to think about long-term hazards to health (eg high levels of noise or exposure to harmful substances)
Visit the HSE website. HSE publishes practical guidance on hazards and how to control them
There are some hazards with a recognised risk of harm, for example working at height, working with chemicals, machinery, and asbestos. Depending on the type of work you do, there may be other hazards that are relevant to your business.
2.2.2 Decide who might be harmed and how;
Think how employees (or others who may be present such as contractors or visitors) might be harmed. Ask your employees what they think the hazards are, as they may notice things that are not obvious to you and may have some good ideas on how to control the risks.
For each hazard you need to be clear about who might be harmed; it will help you identify the best way of controlling the risk. That doesn't mean listing everyone by name, but rather identifying groups of people (eg 'people working in the storeroom' or 'passers-by').
Remember; some workers have particular requirements, for example new and young workers, migrant workers, new or expectant mothers, people with disabilities, temporary workers, contractors, homeworkers and lone workers (see Your workers), service users.
Think about people who might not be in the workplace all the time, such as visitors, contractors and maintenance workers Take members of the public into account if they could be hurt by your activities. If you share your workplace with another business, consider how your work affects others and how their work affects you and your workers. Talk to each other and make sure controls are in place. Ask the workers if there is anyone you may have missed.
2.2.3 Evaluate the risk and decide on precaution;
Having identified the hazards, you then have to decide how likely it is that harm will occur; ie the level of risk and what to do about it. Risk is a part of everyday life and you are not expected to eliminate all risks. What you must do is make sure you know about the main risks and the things you need to do to manage them responsibly.
Generally, you need to do everything 'reasonably practicable'. This means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the real risk in terms of money, time or trouble. However, you do not need to take action if it would be grossly disproportionate to the level of risk. Your risk assessment should only include what you could reasonably be expected to know - you are not expected to anticipate unforeseeable risks.
Look at what you're already doing, and the control measures you already have in place. You need to ask yourself how you can get rid of the hazard altogether?
If not, how can risk be controlled so that harm is unlikely?
Here are some practical steps you could take:
-trying a less risky option, - preventing access to the hazards
- organising work to reduce exposure to the hazard,
- issuing protective equipment