The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, require that employers, and the self-employed, must undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.
A risk assessment is simply an examination of the work we are going to carry out and the working environment. The purpose of a risk assessment is to identify anything with the potential to cause accidents and ill health to either our employees or to members of the public/visitors.
If this assessment identifies a significant a risk to health and safety, we must implement measures to either eliminate or control the risk to a reasonable level. The law does have an appreciation for the fact that it is not possible to eliminate all risk, however, it does require all risks to be controlled. Blast Away has a legal duty to record the significant findings of the assessment.
We review the risk assessment on a regular basis as and when there are any changes in the environment, personnel, equipment used etc and this carried out at least annually irrespective of change in the aforementioned.
Although Blast Away has the responsibility to ensure that the risk assessment is carried out, we must also ensure that whoever undertakes the risk assessment is competent to do so. This may be via formal training or simply by virtue of time served in that particular discipline.
When considering the risks associated with our activities we need to first look at the hazards.
A HAZARD is defined as “anything, which has the potential to cause harm”
Examples of typical hazards are as follows: -
• Working at height with no edge protection
• Working in the presence of asbestos containing materials
• Working with chemicals.
In order to differentiate between the severities of the identified risks, we give them a risk rating, i.e. Low, medium or high.
Our Risk assessments are not overcomplicated, it is essential that we only judge whether the hazards are significant and whether or not the precautions in place are satisfactory.