Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association :: View topic - Risk Assessments Support | Significant Findings

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Anonymous



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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:23 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Am I going slightly ‘mad’? As I understand it when doing risk assessments only significant hazards should be recorded, therefore why in an office only environment, where welfare facilities/access and egress are all good, adequately provided and in full working order, do they need to be recorded on the risk assessment (also put on noise then states there is none) ??

Can anyone confirm that I am working along the right lines in feeling these do not need recording on the risk assessment form but should be taken into account when performing audits/safety tours and only added if they are found to be a significant hazard with the relevant control measures!!

Frustrated Safety Officer  
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D.Toseland
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 1:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top
I agree with you that it can be frustrating, the obvious answer as with 99% of H&S is - it depends.
No matter what you put on a RA someone will review it and ask why you haven't included xyz, even though they are not considered significant.
You therefore quickly get to the state where you put down every conceiveable hazard and then immediately classify it as not significant. Which flies in the face of 'only record significant hazards'.
I have tried to attach an example office risk assessment from the HSE, they have missed of loads of potential hazards, but they say this is an example and should not be taken literally.  
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C.Jerman
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:36 pm Reply with quote Back to top
OK, this is probably best dealt with face to face and I would be happy to oblige, but for now - it's not really significant hazards that need to be recorded - don't just be lead by HSE 5 steps to risk assessment. The regs really say that significant FINDINGS need to be recorded. In other words, stuff that it noteworthy. So is electricity a significant hazard? Of course it can kill. But left alone in the sockets of an office is it noteworthy? No of course not. You need to contextualise your hazards in a risk assessment and in my opinion that is best done by talking about tasks. It's what people do. The regs talk about 'your undertakings' - which to you and I are the things that people do.

Driving a fork truck through a pedestrian area, moving a roll cage on a scissor lift, stacking pallets, using step ladders, testing faulty electrical equipment etc. In each of those tasks you can almost see the incident that could happen - because there is context. If we simply said pallet, flt, ladder it could be a million things. So start with tasks by looking at people, location and equipment to form a list of activities. Then you need to determine how significant these tasks are. Making tea, for example. Significant? In an office no, but in a tea shop - yes. It couldn't be a tea shop if there was no tea! See the idea? Forget hazard etc. Is the task a significant undertaking. OK what you then need to do is your risk assessments on significant tasks where there are significant findings. It will be less than you think! OK draw a square window on a sheet of paper. In the top right put sig task with sig risk. Top left put ins task sig risk in the bottom right put sig task ins risk and the the bottom left put ins task ins risk. This just helps to visualise your findings.

OK. Your sig task with sig risk will contain low med and high risk ratings (depending on your assessment method) the bottom right is stuff you do that is important but completely safe. No assessment needed. The top left is stuff which is not your core activity but could be pretty hazardous like roof work. Again LMH risk ratings. Clue? Get a contractor in and manage it differently. I'll leave you to work out what the bottom left box is.

Hope that helps. Happy to talk a length and give some help on this. It's kinda what I specialise in. In fact just written a book on the subject.


Regards


Chris
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T.Stubbs
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 2:30 pm Reply with quote Back to top
This is great Chris. Not that I wish to plug your book but what is it called and where can we get a copy?  
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C.Jerman
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 3:51 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Ha Ha, it's called Risk led Safety and it's published through the IIRSM, but isn't available yet. Early Summer (ish)

Chris
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D.Toseland
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top
Quite a busy little thread.
I like your methodology with respect to the method of sorting priorities for RA's; will make sure my company gets one when they are available.  
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M.Wait
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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top
If there is enough interest I'm sure we can get Chris to Give us a refresher on his Risk assessment talk that he did at the conference a couple of years ago. His methodology is simple and a good way to plan ahead.

The only thing is to be fair to Chris I think we need to wait until he has a copy of his book and he can market it at the same time
That ok with you Chris

Regards

Mark
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