If someone were to ask you, how much would you be able to tell them about the risks to your business? Underpinning your workplace success should be a risk management process.
There’s even an entire section of the Work Health and Safety act related to risk management (which we covered in our Beginner’s Guide). You’re legally required to establish a plan and guidelines for a thorough risk management process to control any foreseeable risks within your workplace.
So how do you do this? Join us as we go through the 6 steps to manage risk in your workplace.
Step One: Identify Your Hazards and Risks
First up, you need to know the difference between a hazard and a risk. A hazard is situations or things that have the potential to harm a person, while a risk is the possibility that harm (injury, illness, or death) might occur when exposed to a hazard.
Some workplace risk is unavoidable—especially when it’s related to the nature of the work your business does. But to manage your risks, you need to be able to identify them. This is where a thorough risk analysis should come into play. You can’t protect your workers from risks you don’t know about.
Step Two: Assess Your Risks
Now you’ve identified your hazards, you need to assess the associated risks. Are they avoidable? Are they necessary to the work you perform? You need to understand what possible outcomes might happen because of the hazards and determine the likelihood of the risk occurring.
Step Three: Control Your Risks
Your next step is developing and implementing a risk register. This can be done through a Broad-Brush Risk Assessment where hazards associated with all workplace activities are captured.
Another approach to risk management is implementing what’s known as the Hierarchy of Control:
- Eliminate the hazard and risk altogether
- Substitute the hazard with something safer
- Isolate the hazard away from people
- Engineer control measures to guard the hazards
- Administer training and develop procedures
- Provide personal protective equipment for when workers must engage with a known hazard
Underpinning this is your need to consult your workers. Alongside being a requirement of the WHS Act, when workers are engaged in the risk management consultation process, they’re more likely to adopt safe work practices.
Step Four: Train Your Workers
A simple yet effective way to manage risk, is to make sure the people working for you are qualified to carry out their roles. Do they have the right licences, insurances, and qualifications? Have they undertaken the right training? When was the last time they did training? Does it need to be reviewed?
Documenting and sharing your risk management procedures is essential to ensuring everyone working for you is aware and informed of the risks being managed. The easiest way to manage risk and avoid workplace accidents is by having appropriately qualified and trained workers.
Step Five: Continually Review Your Risks and Procedures
Risk management is not set and forget. You need to regularly review and revise your policies and procedures to make sure they’re still current and reflect of best practice. Every time something in your workplace changes, you need to review to ensure you haven’t missed any additional risk.
Staying on top of these procedures is your best line of defence against workplace injuries.
Step Six: Implement Risk Management Software
In our experience, all organisations benefit from having risk management procedures and hazard reduction initiatives. It helps you meet your legal requirements under the WHS Act and assists in making your business run as smoothly as possible.
So how can Pegasus help?
Our software exists to provide total insight into your workforce, manage risk, increase productivity, control compliance, and stay connected. With Pegasus workforce management software, you can pre-qualify the contracting companies working for you—you can even request a safety management system (SMS) review from the Pegasus team. You can make sure all your workers are competent and deny site access to those who aren’t. Using our learning management system, you can keep your entire workforce up to date with your risk management procedures.
The options are endless.
Talk to Pegasus today about how we can help you manage your workplace risk.
October is National Safe Work Month—a time to commit to building a safe and healthy workplace. The theme this year is think safe. work safe. be safe.
During the month of October, we’ll be exploring how you can approach safety in your workplace by looking at each part of the theme. This week, we’ve looked at work safe.
work safe– is about implementing work health and safety measures to manage risk including the practical steps you can take to reduce risk and avoid workplace incidents.