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Risk Assessment and Managment

Risk Management is assessing the risks and controlling them on a daily basis. Risk assessment is a systematic approach to hazard identification and control. It is a process that helps identify what elements of an activity can cause injury to people. It introduces control measures that will reduce the risk of injury to an acceptable level. Risk assessment is not a process that eliminates all hazards in the workplace. What risk assessment as a process does is ensure that we do all we can to reduce the risk of injury to as low a level as is reasonably practicable. It is a legal requirement and may prevent a death or major injury/incident.

Management of Regulations

There is a duty on every employer to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work. Also, the risks to the health and safety of persons not in their employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by them. Where the employer employs five or more employees, the significant findings of the assessment should be recorded.  Any group of employees identified by them as being especially at risk e.g pregnant women, young persons, contractors, agency workers and vulnerable persons should be protected. Employers must complete risk assessments on pregnant and nursing mums. One must consider the environment of expectant mums, for example, is there a risk, by reason of her condition, to the health and safety to her or the foetus, from any processes or working conditions, or physical, biological or chemical agents. As regards young persons, an employer must not employ a young person unless the employer, has, in relation to risks to young persons, made or reviewed an assessment.

The employer has a duty to ensure that any person appointed by them who is not in their employment is informed of the factors known by them to affect health and safety. Every employer should provide his employees with comprehensible and relevant information on the risks to their health and safety identified by the assessment. Preventative and protective measures must be taken.

Employees also have responsibilities. Every employee must use any machinery, equipment, dangerous substances, and transport equipment, means of production or safety devices provided to them in accordance with their training. Every employee should inform their employer and their colleagues of any work situation which a person would reasonably consider represented a serious and immediate danger to health and safety.

It is imperative that every employer appoint one or more competent persons to assist them in undertaking the measures needed to comply with the requirements. A person would be regarded as competent where they have sufficient training and experience.

With regard to capabilities and training, every employer must ensure that his employees are provided with adequate health and safety training on their being recruited. This should also be the case on their being exposed to new or increased risks because of their being transferred or given a change of responsibilities. Every employer must ensure that his employees are provided with a health surveillance as is appropriate. This could include, for example, a health questionnaire, blood tests when working with lead etc.

A review of the risk assessment should be carried out periodically. Any assessment should be reviewed if there is reason to suspect that it is no longer valid and /or there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates. As a result of any such review, changes to an assessment that are required, should be undertaken by the employer or self-employed person concerned shall make them.

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