Why Risk Assessments are essential.

Alan Price – CEO at BrightHR

March 16 2015

Trips slips and falls are potentially a problem for many employers however with a common sense approach they can easily be reduced or indeed eliminated completely. We use something called a risk assessment, this is a preventive measure, a thorough check of the risks associated and how, as an employer you can look at providing a solution to any potential threat of an accident. The first thing is do is to designate someone to look after your health & safety obligations, this person should be trained and know what they are doing. They should look at conducting a risk assessment, a thorough check of the safety risks associated to your workplace, from chairs to desks through to wiring and the potential risk of slips and falls. There should be no compromise when it comes to health & safety, you should take no shortcuts, many businesses are put off by the cost of health & safety however you have to remember that the costs will significantly increase should an accident occur or even worse a fatality. So conducting a risk assessment will significantly help reduce the chance of this occurring however you also need to remember that any safety issues raised from such an assessment are actioned. There is little use in you conducting a risk assessment if you have no intention of acting upon the findings, so it’s important that you take the exercise seriously. Depending on the nature of your business, the type of health & safety risks and the severity of these issues will differ greatly. In the traditional office environment slips, trips or falls will generally be the main concern, however in situations where machinery is operated the potential dangers are far more severe. It is utterly essential that all machinery is regularly tested to ensure it is working correctly, as well as making sure that all staff that operate such machines are fully trained and competent. It is also wise take a review of workplace stress, no matter what kind of business you run or the industry you work in, handling workplace stress for your staff is a vital responsibility for an employer. Fail to treat it as a priority may result in you being taken to employment tribunal. So finally when conducting a risk assessment make sure you have all the basics covered, a competent person is there to undertake the assessments and that they are conducted on a regular basis, at least annually or when there has been a significant workplace change. Follow these steps and you significantly reduce the chance of a workplace accident, however remember you cannot entirely eliminate the risk of an accident but at least you can prove that you have taken every step possible to minimise the chances.

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