Risk assessment, in its simplest form means to think in advance about potential events, their effects and consequences that may follow, and take the necessary measures to avoid or minimise unwanted effects. Risk assessment is necessary in every business as safety in the workplace for all employees is important not only from a business standpoint, but also purely for humanitarian reasons. In addition, risk assessment is a legal obligation for employers. Therefore, the manager must ensure safety in the workplace, and to do so, it is necessary to identify potential risks and manage them properly.
Keep reading to find out what mistakes you need to avoid when completing risk assessment.
What are the mistakes to avoid in risk assessment?
It often happens that only current burning issues are addressed while a systematic approach is neglected and the approach on risk assessment is not serious enough. Therefore, first it is necessary to identify potential risks and make their gradation according to the degree of danger.
Looking at the bigger picture
A business should always bear in mind the bigger picture, not just individual risks and how to act in relation to them. A list of actions that need to be taken is necessary. This list should be drawn in a way that the measures that need to be taken in order to prevent greater and more significant risks, are on top of the list. This “priority list” will allow you to manage risks effectively.
Get down to the shop floor
People often make the mistake of thinking risk assessment is done in an office, on a computer, without insight into the actual operations and events that are unfolding in the work processes. If you do risk assessment this way, it certainly won’t be good enough. It is necessary to know the work processes really well and only then you can identify all potential risks and plan measures to manage them.
Stop looking at it as a legal measure
One of the mistakes is that risk assessment is approached as something that needs to be done for the sake of legal obligations, but with no real awareness that this is something needed and that it will really help. A well-made evaluation and measures you take based on that will certainly prevent many unwanted consequences, and ultimately save money.
Identifying behaviour or process triggers
The mistake many make when assessing risks is that they don’t identify the triggers for each risk. Triggers are indicators that the risk has developed or will occur soon. In order to identify these indicators, you have to talk to people who work on certain operations and who know in detail how and what could happen in their workplace.
After completing risk assessment, some managers don’t follow what happens next. It is necessary to constantly monitor what is going on, have a watch list and watch to see if triggers which show that the risk could occur soon have showed up somewhere. This way you will prevent the occurrence of risks.
Assess your risks frequently
Once your risk assessment have been composed, it’s vital that you don’t look at your risk assessment as eternal. As new equipment, new processes, new employees are introduced to the working process, constant update of once made risk assessment is needed. It is necessary to supplement, modify and adjust the risk assessment as new circumstances occur.
Don’t overcomplicate your risk assessments
There is no need to make your risk assessments complicated where they do not need to be. Quite simply, it is necessary to determine who could get hurt, in what way and what are the exact threats. It is best to discuss this with the employees so you find out things that may not be obvious at first glance. In doing so, don’t scare people and create an image that they are exposed to high risks in their workplace. Be realistic and systematic.
Take into account the individuals working in your company
Furthermore, you are making a mistake in your risk assessment if you don’t keep in mind what type of employees are working on a particular job. It’s not the same if you have an experienced employee or a beginner, a person with disabilities or a pregnant woman. Such things must be taken into account in your evaluation. Also don’t forget people who aren’t your employees but are important for your business such as visitors, clients and customers.
Risk assessment is a job that needs to be addressed seriously and systematically. What is important is that you assessment should be designed to identify the risks from the largest to the smallest. In doing so, it is necessary to include as many factors as possible that can be identified and then, according to that plan, taking necessary actions. With quality assessment and proper measures, employees will be safe, and accidents and other unwanted events will be reduced to a minimum.