Effective risk management starts with a commitment to health and safety from those who operate and manage the business.
I believe that if you are serious about health and safety, your co-workers, as well as employees, will be more likely to cooperate and follow your lead.
Everyone needs to be committed by getting involved in safety issues, as well as investing their time and energy. A safe workplace doesn’t happen by chance or guesswork.
You have to look ahead and see what could go wrong and what the consequences would be. Once you have visualized the hazards that could be involved, you must try to eliminate or minimize the risks.
There are four main steps involved in securing a safe workplace. They are as follows:
1) Identify the hazards by seeing what could possibly cause harm.
2) Assess the risks.
3) Implement the most effective control measure that pertains to those circumstances.
4) Review control measures to make sure they are working as planned.
Hazards exist in every workplace – whether it is an office, a mine, a construction site, or your home.
Identifying existing hazards is key to preventing an accident. For example, overexertion by continual lifting in a deli, a supermarket, at home or at work can cause muscular strain.
If you work on a construction site or mine, gravity is a hazard: Falling objects, falls, slips and trips can cause fractures, concussions, permanent injuries and even death.
Hazardous chemicals and dusts have been known to cause dermatitis, respiratory illnesses, and cancer.
Other hazards posing danger are accidents involving machinery and equipment. Some hazards are not obvious, such as stress or fatigue. As you look around in your workplace, and you see potential problems, take immediate action.
Consult those around you and see if there are any health hazards they are aware of. Suggest a risk assessment so that you can determine how severe the hazard might be.
There must be existing control measures in place, and every employee should be aware of what action should be taken and how urgent the risk is. Preventing a loss is more important than generating a gain and risks must be accurately targeted and managed accordingly.
“The safest risk is the one you didn’t take.”