Risk assessment is a fundamental part if modern Health and Safety Legislation and CE marking Directives. In the UK it is a legal requirement under Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) and Provision of Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) to make risk assessments of all workplaces and work equipment.
CCQS engineers are experienced in making risk assessments for machinery and workplaces. When done correctly, risk assessment should be a part of the design process and should be started at an early stage. It is always better to design a hazard out than to try to guard against it later.
The process of formal risk assessment will often highlight problems which would be difficult to solve if left to late. In a working environment, risk assessment will help you prioritise safety improvements on a cost benefit and will help you recognise hazards and risks before they have a chance to cause accidents.
Risk assessment is an iterative process involving identification of hazards and evaluating the risks which they pose. The ideal solution is to eliminate the hazard, but that is often not possible so measures to mitigate unacceptable levels of risk can then be considered. The process is iterative because once initial measures have been considered the risks are re-evaluated. Once the risks are reduced as low as possible by mitigation, measures to deal with residual risks can be considered. These would typically be warning labels, warnings in user instructions, use of PPE and safe systems of work.
The concept of risk assessment is fundamental to modern Health and Safety legislation. Rather than proscribing fixed solutions, modern legislation places the responsibility on the equipment manufacturer or user to identify hazards and reduce the risk they cause to acceptable levels.
There are many different techniques for risk assessment. There is no one best way and different techniques may be more appropriate in different situations. CCQS’ engineers have made many risk assessments for a wide variety of equipment. CCQS can help with risk assessments and advise on the best approach to use in a particular situation.
CCQS normally uses a risk assessment method based on a template which is available for free download here.
Next page: Inspections