How a Risk Assessment Program Works
Accidents, injuries, and other hazards in the workplace can be extremely costly for your business. They can lead to increases in workers’ compensation claims, fines, and penalties. By developing a risk assessment program, you can save your business money and provide a safe and healthy working environment.
Steps to Risk Assessment
So how exactly does a risk assessment program work? While the process seems complex, it can be broken down into four steps: identifying, evaluating, controlling, and monitoring. By following these four steps, a risk assessment program prevents injury and makes your workplace the safest environment possible; which keeps your employees happy and your bottom line low.
Before you can move forward, you must look at the current health and safety procedures in your workplace. It is important to assess every aspect of your business to identify any hazards or potential threats to your employees or guests. This includes inspecting all critical business units and equipment, as well as non-routine procedures like maintenance or cleaning.
During a job site assessment, safety specialists should inspect your workplace, including construction equipment, machinery, air and water quality, and more, to maintain OSHA, DOT, or EPA compliance. You should also evaluate the work and hygiene practices of your employees, past safety procedures, documentation, and emergency preparedness programs to identify any areas that need improvement.
Once you have identified all risks in your workplace, you must then evaluate the potential impact they could have on your business. Using industry best practices, state and federal regulations, and field tests as a guide, safety specialists assess the severity of each risk and then calculate the likelihood that it is to occur.
After deciding the severity and likelihood of harm, you can then prioritize your safety programs depending on the level of each risk. Safety experts will typically measure and rank each risk based on the frequency of harm, the degree of harm, or the percentage of your workplace that is exposed to the risk. In doing so, they can then determine which risks need to be eliminated or controlled.
Eliminate or Control Risks
Now that you have rated and prioritized any risks, you can begin to develop and implement a personalized plan to mitigate them. High risk hazards should first be removed from the workplace or substituted for safer materials. For lower risk hazards, you should implement engineering or administrative controls to reduce your exposure to the risk. These controls can include changes in equipment design, workplace safety practices, background checks or drug tests, training programs, protective wear, and more.
After you have implemented safety controls and reduced your exposure to risk, you must still continuously monitor and evaluate your workplace safety standards. Whether you are starting a new project or hiring new employees, health and safety practices constantly evolve. Your risk assessment program should include habitual safety analyses as well as sessions to retrain employees as regulations change.
If you are interested in reducing the impact of workplace accidents and injuries, contact Risk Management Partners today to learn how a risk assessment program can help you!