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Create a safety plan with a risk assessment checklist

Use risk assessment checklists to make health and safety your priority at work. Identify hazards and develop plans to remove them

What is a risk assessment checklist?

Risk assessment checklists are the first step towards systemically ensuring occupational health and safety in a company. They help prevent accidents and occupational diseases. When designing your workplace, ask yourself if there’s anything in the environment, whether it’s an object, situation, or task, that could pose a danger to the health and wellbeing of workers. If so, what exactly are the hazards, and how severe are the risks?

Employers are required to perform risk assessments as per various laws, ordinances, and regulations, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health, and the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances. Since different companies face different conditions, these rules don’t define exactly how these procedures should look.

However, a risk assessment must always be complete and factually accurate, which is why risk assessment checklists are helpful. Using a checklist helps standardize inspections, assess the severity and likelihood of incidents, and implement control measures to reduce risks. After the assessment, businesses create a risk matrix to evaluate the likelihood of and assign risk ratings to hazards.

7 steps to include in a risk assessment checklist

Your risk assessments should enable you to trace risks back to their source and allow you to solve the root causes of issues. It’s important to note that risk assessments are different from Job Safety Analyses (JSA) and that you sometimes need both.

According to the recommendation of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), the seven steps of any risk assessment are:

  1. Define work areas and activities
  2. Identify hazards
  3. Assess hazards
  4. Determine corrective measures
  5. Execute measures
  6. Verify effectiveness
  7. Update hazard assessments

5 tips for your hazard assessments

A hazard assessment reduces the likelihood of workplace accidents, thereby increasing the overall safety of the site. Your hazard inspections will be smoother if you:

  1. Notify employees before conducting an inspection of the workplace
  2. Inspect the workplace and identify potential hazards
  3. Determine whether accidents have already occurred
  4. Develop a plan to preserve a safe work enivroment that supports needed corrective actions
  5. Implement corrective measures based on collected data

3 common mistakes risk assessment checklists avoid

A risk assessment helps companies and employees resolve occupational health and safety issues, as long as it’s performed correctly. Inspectors and businesses frequently make three mistakes when assessing risks and hazards.

  1. Not repeating the process
    A hazard assessment should not be a single inspection; instead, they should be regular and ased off the results of previous inspections. Hazard analyses and continuous improvement need to be organizational habits to ensure sustainable health and safety.
  2. Not involving outside contractors

    When working with outside companies, third parties are also responsible for employee safety. Make sure your business partners perform risk assessments as well.

  3. Not involving enough inspectors
    Risk assessment inspections should be done by several safety officers, to ensure they are as thorough as possible
Yellow and black radioactive danger sign outside of a nuclear power facility

Create risk assessment checklists with workflow automation software

In order to keep track of hazards, risks, control measures, and corrective actions properly, you’ll need a good record-keeping system. Documenting your findings helps you improve and is necessary to meet legal obligations.

Instead of writing pen-and-paper risk assessment checklists, save yourself time and increase the utility of your inspections with workflow automation software like Lumiform. By digitizing inspection checklists so they can be used again and again, and creating your own custom checklists to reflect the unique risks present in your company, you’ll work more efficiently and have an easier time developing improvements.

Lumiform’s workflow automation platform:

A yellow danger sign posted as the result of a risk assessment
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