The Importance Of Conducting Risk Assessment

by Dave Collins on August 13, 2014

The Importance Of Conducting Risk Assessment

Despite recent advances in technologies and work strategies, there are industries which simply have a high amount of risks attached. But instead of biting the bullet and merely accepting these risks and hazards as part of the territory, business organisations can take a proactive approach to minimising, if not eliminating, these.

In the construction sector, one of these strategies is drawing up a suitable safe work method statement or SWMS. This document contains the high risk tasks that need to be performed at the work site, the risks and safety hazards, the strategies put into place to control these, as well as the measures to implement and monitor these.

But before you can draw up an SWMS, you need to conduct a risk assessment or job safety analysis.

A job safety analysis or JSA is conducted in four steps. First, the organisation must identify which specific job needs to be analysed. Then, that job is broken down into smaller steps. The third step involves identifying the potential hazards, and the last step involves outlining the necessary measures to control these.

Typically, the assessment is conducted in real time as workers perform the job that is being analysed. This allows the observer to immediately recognise potential hazards which may not be readily observed when one draws upon memory. Another strategy that is worth implementing during analysis is to discuss the steps involved in performing a job as this factors in the actual experience of the workers.

Apart from identifying the hazards in conducting a job, some of which may have been previously unrecognised, conducting a job safety analysis offers others benefits. For one, it helps raise the awareness of your personnel who perform the job that is being analysed. In turn, this allows them to readily accept the measures that need to be implemented in order to eliminate or minimise these. If you choose to document the assessment, this can serve as a good teaching aid for new recruits to your organisation.

Another way to conduct an assessment is to use a job safety analysis checklist which is divided into three sections – hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control. This checklist will allow you to conduct the assessment quickly. Also, the checklist is customisable and is suitable for various sectors. In turn, this will allow you to draw up an appropriate SWMS, take the necessary measures to minimise hazards and risks, and satisfy legal requirements.

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