The OHS risk assessment process can fundamentally be broken into three key steps:
- Hazard identification
- Plant risk assessment
- Decision on how to control hazards
From this process, organisations can develop plans for implementing and improving upon controls, and schedule regular reviews of plant and equipment.
A hazard is something that has the potential to cause harm. Some of these are obvious, some are less so.
While employers or, under the new legislation, PCBUs are likely to be very familiar with the context in which hazards appear, it can be difficult to identify all hazards in the workplace.
Independent plant risk assessment allows you to perform a more thorough review of potential hazards in the workplace. Keeping accurate records at this stage is good practice; an OHS risk assessment expert can help you implement more effective recording systems.
Risk is the likelihood that harm will occur from exposure to the hazard.
This stage is perhaps more difficult. It is a multi-step process, and for each hazard PCBUs need to:
- Estimate the likelihood of an incident occurring as a result of use of or exposure to it
- Estimate the consequences of said incident
It is important to remember that plant risk assessment involves not only identifying the potential issues inherent in work processes, but also how these risks can interact.
In addition, all OHS risk assessments need to take into consideration the workers themselves. Who may be affected by hazards in the workplace? Inexperienced workers, visitors, cleaners, unfamiliar contractors and a range of other parties may be more likely to be affected by your activities than your employees.
Knowledge of legislation at the control stage is vital, and industry experience can be extremely valuable. You need to know what is legally required, the latest information on industry best practices and whether your existing controls are sufficient.
A plant risk assessment professional from Australian Risk Services can be of particular assistance at this stage. Being now familiar with your workplace, they can provide details on the best controls and practices for your situation.
ARS offers plant risk assessment for a wide range of equipment including:
- Arrow board
- Cherry picker
- Dump truck
- Elevated work platform
- EWP and EWP truck
- Fuel tanker
- Light trailer
- Manufacturing equipment
- Pipe welder
- Scissor lift
- Service truck
- Sign trailer
- Skid steer
- Tractor and tractor attachments
- Traffic light
- Vacuum truck
- Water pump
- Water truck
- Wood chipper
For more information on assessments, training courses, safety system design and more, contact ARS today.