Risk assessment & hazard identification

Welcome back to our online series where our CEO, Kobi Simmat answers some of the questions we’ve received in the field, with our clients and online on our Youtube, Facebook and LinkedIn channels. Today, we've had a whole bunch of questions on what you out there can do in your organization to improve safety.

What I'm going to do is take you through ISO 45001, and discuss some of the updates.

Before we get to that, let's just have a quick chat about hazard identification, risk assessment and controls. One of the first and most important steps here is to have a look at a safety management system like ISO 45001. There are a couple of standards that already exist like ISO 18001, so if you're not sure about what policies and procedures to write in your organization, you can have a look at those international standards. Then, we can move on to having a look at the adoption of a management system, which is the core part of the process, which is specifically designed to address hazard identification, risk assessment, and a range of controls to mitigate risk.

Ask yourself, ‘What could happen in my organization?’ in regards to risk management. What unsafe practices, or equipment you’re using maybe isn’t up to scratch in 2018. You could fall down the stairs, you could cut yourself, you could hurt yourself, you could fall off something, you could you'd be hit by a forklift, a truck, a car, a train- all those sorts of things. If the answer to those questions is yes, that could potentially happen, then we can start to think about some of the big things that can happen in an organisation. We can say, ‘Well, we've seen those things that could happen to us. Yes, it could how, so how would we prevent that?’ or, ‘Okay, well maybe let's hold the handrail when we were walking down a set of stairs, or things like fatigue or minimising distractions for someone operating heavy machinery. I think that's a really good way to learn from accidents without actually having them, which as you know in a lot of cases, can be quite damaging to an organization.

Thinking about hazards you know, considering what hazards are more important than others, is where we talk about risk assessment, and/or prioritization. In turn, we’ve got a set of controls that are designed to minimize the impact of potential dangers. Ultimately, the first thing you want to do is try and reduce the consequences, so you want to try and reduce the potential for injuries that the significance of injuries and incidents. You don't want to have fatalities, so the second thing you want to start looking at is the frequency. How often could those things happen? Prioritise dangers in accordance with their potential frequency. Try to implement new and improved practices to the pull down the frequency taking people out of a situation.

You know by eliminating them from the dangerous situation, you’re minimizing the number of people - and thus, the potential risks - that are exposed to a particular thing in your business.

So, that's a quick summary on this topic, but there are tons more out there on safety for us to get through. That's from us here at Best Practice for now, but our learning resources on safety, as well as environmental and efficiency concerns is available for you at any time of day, and is growing on a daily basis.

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