A risk assessment is an important step in protecting your workers and your business, as well as complying with the law. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace – the ones with the potential to cause real harm. In many instances, straightforward measures can readily control risks, for example ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip, or cupboard drawers are kept closed to ensure people do not trip. In schools risk assessments are slightly different, as all teachers and educational staff also have to act under ‘loco parentis’ and this means that, they must act as ‘stand in parents’. Risk assessments are important to ensure no injuries occur, but in school there are also carried out to make sure that the act of loco parentis can be filled; for no sane parent would put their child in a place of danger, nor should the loco parents. However, if a risk assessment is seen to be inadequate, (the law does not expect all risks to be defined), this can make you liable, if or even if not, an accident occurs, that could have been prevented with the aid of a risk assessment.
What is a Risk Assessment?
Risk assessments are a step in the risk management process. Risk assessment is the determination of quantative or qualitive value of risk that relates to areas that can be controlled. It allows you to determine and analyse all the possible risks, and there severity, whilst using the ALARA principle to also determine the likely-hood of these risks.
How do they do a Risk Assessment?
You can carry out a risk assessment by including past occurrences, in order to prevent further ones. A risk assessment involves monitoring these risks after defining them, and then of course, putting in place the precautional measures. The steps to carry out a risk assessment are:
– Defining a Possible Risk;
I.e. Icy Paths.
– Constructing a theory regarding how this risk could occur;
I.e. Slipping and Falling
– Conflicting this risk with a precautional measure;
I.e. Gritting the Paths.
– Analysing the Severity and Likely Hood of the risk Using the letter and number system;
I.e. B for the likelihood and 1 for the Severity.
– Making any necessary changes, if seen fit to do so; i.e. altering route.
– Writing a report to explain the risk, outcomes, precautions and changes, to make sure that all areas have been covered and documented.
When do they do a Risk Assessment, and Why?
A risk assessment is carried out before and an after event, that involves risk which could harm the public, contractors, employees and participants. An assessment of the risks needs to be carried out every time a new risk is created or presented, to ensure maximum safety. A Risk assessment is carried out, firstly to comply with legal requirements, and also to ensure safety.
Why Control Measures do you have i.e. specialised equipment?
For example, with a group of primary school children arriving to use the sports facilities, the specialised equipment and provisions would be:
– Safety fittings, other protruding nails, bolts and workings of things such as the bars in the gym.
– Supervision at all times, of a higher ration of staff to children than normal.
– Lower density discuses and shot-puts, to avoid muscle strains, if they are being used.
– Rubber tipped, smaller, and lighter javelins if used.
– Adequate warm rest rooms, and first aid kits and professionals, to ensure that there is no untreated injuries, or cases of hypothermia.
What are Contingency plans? Do you have in place?
Contingency plans, are similar to back up plans. For example, if the playing area for the hockey tournament, is damaged or covered in snow, there must be a plan that ensures another sports arena is close by and available.
I have three contingency plans in place:
– If a child is absent, and the numbers are therefore uneven, meaning that play cannot go ahead, I will have a plan for 5 a side tournaments, or smaller teams to ensure that games can still go ahead.
– If the weather prohibits play, there will be a large indoor sports hall available, with lighter balls, and fewer players on each team.
– If there is a fire, I will have previously organised a ‘buddy buddy’ system, with a designated register point. I will also, on arrival make all staff, and children aware of the fire exits and registration points.
How do you report and review the Risk Assessment?
There are three stages of a report regarding a risk assessment.
– Assessment of the risk and severity and the likelihood of the risk occurring. To ensure that the risks are properly documents.
– Define how the risk would occur, and link this too..
– How you could prevent this.
It is important to report and review a risk assessment, to ensure that all risks have been explained fully, and to make sure that the author of the risk assessment is not liable for anything.