Risk assessment is a systematic review of what might cause undesirable incidents and what consequences these may have for the working environment. A risk assessment must also identify measures that form a basis for reducing risk.
Why a risk assessment?
A risk assessment can improve safety in the working environment.
It is important to prevent undesirable incidents such as accidents, injuries and damage to materials. Risk assessments are primarily performed so as to be bale to take decisions that improve safety.
Firstly, we must identify the hazards (the undesirable incidents) that may occur, so as to be able to assess their risk. Then, we should reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Often measures have already been taken, but there may be a need for new ones. In this way, risk can be reduced still further.
Examples of situations where risk assessment must be performed:
- When planning risky working tasks in laboratories, clinics, field work, research cruises, stores, workshops, outside areas and in operations
- Areas/premises where risky activities are carried out
- With work (especially work alone) that could involve risky activities
- As a basis for emergency preparedness plans
Examples of situations where risk assessment should be performed:
- In follow-up of HSE non-conformities, undesirable incidents and conditions discovered during reviews of the physical (HSE inspections) and psychosocial (HSE meetings) working environment.