Resources – risk management

Managing Workplace Risks
(A requirement of WHS Law)

The “Risk Management Approach”
Risk Management is a 4 –Step Process to find:

1. What is the problem Identify the Hazards
2. How big is the problem Assess the risks
3. How to fix the problem Control the risks
4. What has been done Review the controls/process

NOTE:
Steps 1, 2 and 3 can be represented by H.I.R.A.C. i.e.

1. H.I. = Hazard Identification
2. R.A = Risk Assessment
3. C = Control

Note: When 1, 2 & 3 are complete we must:

Review the Process to determine if the Controls are effective in minimising the RISK.
The Risk Management process must be undertaken:

  1. Before, installing plant, changing work practices or introducing hazardous substances
  2. While work is being carried out
  3. When new information is available

First let’s Define:

A HAZARD is anything that has the potential to cause injury or illness to people. (Put simply, it is something that can harm us.)
Note: Hazards can be:

  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Biological
  • Mechanical and electrical
  • Psychological
  • A combination of the above

A RISK is the estimated outcome of the hazard and is often used to indicate “what” and “when” we should do something about it:

It is useful to express RISK as a number (LEVEL) so that it can be compared to other RISKS.

To determine the “Risk Level” we can use a “Risk Assessment Tool” which looks at both:

  • the potential consequence (or severity) of any injury or illness, resulting from a hazard and
  • the likelihood that a hazard will result in injury or illness to people

RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL

LIKELIHOOD
C
O
N
S
E
Q
U
E
N
C
E
A
Almost
Certain
B
Likely
C
Unlikely
D
Very
Unlikely
1
Disaster
1 1 2 3
2
Major
1 2 3 4
3
Moderate
2 3 4 5
4
Minor
3 4 5 6

 

The numbers 1 to 6 above are the “RISK LEVELS” associated with the Hazards identified and can be used to prioritise the risks and develop an action plan to minimise risks.
Employers must identify hazards through:

  • Consultation with employees
  • Hazard Reporting
  • Inspections
  • Analysing available information
  • Industry Feedback (implied)

Note: In this publication some hazards more common to Meat Workers have been identified as examples in Section 5.

Employers are to minimise the risks (eliminate or control)

If elimination is not reasonably practicable, controls for risks should be developed in the following order of priority, or Hierarchy of Control (HOC)

  • Substitution (i.e. Using another way of working)
  • Isolation (i.e Using guards or barriers)
  • Engineering Controls (i.e. A new design perhaps)
  • Administrative Controls (i.e. Procedures, Training and Supervision)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (i.e. Mesh Gloves, Arm Guards, Footwear)

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