5 Essential Risk Management Steps To Improve Workplace Safety
5 Essential Risk Management Steps
Risks and dangers are present in all kinds of workplaces and industries. An essential duty for any employer is to understand those risks and manage them accordingly. It’s best to clearly layout risk management steps for a greater level of control over hazards in the work environment.
Proper risk management will help employees to feel much safer at work. It will also reduce incidents and accidents, increase productivity, and achieve a greater level of compliance concerning workplace safety.
No matter what industry or type of environment, we have outlined some of the essential risk management steps to take to improve safety.
Understanding Workplace Risks
There are risks present in all types of industries and workplaces. Some of the more dangerous work environments include construction, utility work, factories, and engineering. In these industries, it is crucial to identify and mitigate any risks and hazards to improve safety.
Whatever the environment may look like, risks can pose various levels of severity. If left unresolved, workplace risks could lead to injuries or even death. So, risk management is a critical process when it comes to workplace safety.
When dealing with risks, it’s a good idea to have a clear list of all risks and rank them according to their seriousness. You can then determine a risk control strategy alongside these risks.
5 Risk Management Steps
For a workplace that is up to date and less prone to accidents, it’s important to implement strategies to deal with any risks or hazards. Whatever the environment, the process of controlling risk is the same.
Here are five of the most important risk management steps to employ in all kinds of workplaces.
The first step for any environment is to identify and understand what risks may be present. It would help if you recognized all potential hazards to move forward with any other risk management steps.
Risk identification involves finding any process or area that is possibly dangerous or where people could get injured.
Risks could occur when using machinery and equipment, working with dangerous chemicals, or involving unguarded machinery or badly designed workstations. Most manual tasks in the workplace present possible dangers. So, it is important to look into each area and thoroughly identify any potential risks.
Once identified, you need to log and lay out the details of these risks clearly. The more you understand the risk, the better you can deal with them. Besides doing a thorough workplace inspection and observation, this step can also involve interviewing workers or answering workplace safety questionnaires.
Analyze These Risks
After identifying all the workplace risks or on-site, the next step is to assess the amount of risk they present. The aim of this is to develop a stronger understanding of the nature of these dangers and to realize just how much they could affect your workers and business.
You need to understand the impact that these risks will have and what the chances of them happening are. Will the consequences be fatal? What kind of injuries can result? Is there a high chance of this happening? These are questions to consider.
You can then present a risk analysis next to each risk you identified to provide a complete overview of the risks. It should also give you a good starting point regarding which risks you need to mitigate first.
Evaluating the Risk
The next step is understanding the magnitude of the risk through an evaluation of two factors. These are:
- how likely the risk is to occur
- and what the consequences are.
By doing this, you can give each risk a certain danger level or ranking. By ranking and evaluating the risks, you can understand what type of preventative measures need to be put in place (if any) and prioritize which risks you need to deal with more urgently.
Risks that are not very serious and rank low may only require a visible warning on them. More serious risks will need more intensive preventative measures. This risk ranking system is critical to your management approach.
Control the Risk
At this stage, you will have a thorough understanding of all present risks and a ranking system of each risk’s seriousness. Now it is time to act on these risks and control them. This risk management step is known as risk response planning. Here, you will take any risks that rank highly and treat them to reduce their danger level.
This involves introducing new systems that can reduce the likelihood of the risk from happening or eliminating it. Strategies here could include redesigning equipment, placing guards around dangerous equipment, adding warning signs around the workplace, introducing fall prevention systems, and so on.
Risk mitigation strategies, as well as contingency plans, need to be implemented. Workplace hazards can vary greatly, so there is no set rule for these strategies. One important thing to do, regardless of the hazard, is training. Employees always need to be fully notified of the risks present and understand how to avoid them. Introducing suitable protective gear is also always important.
There also need to be clear guidelines on what to do in the event of these risks occurring. The risk treatment measures should all be listed alongside the ranked risks to offer a clear overview of these risk management steps.
Reviewing the Risk
Now that the appropriate risk management steps have been put in place, it doesn’t mean your work is done. You need to monitor and review the new safety measures consistently. This is to make sure that the risk management steps are working and being enforced or adhered to. You can do this by tracking the risks and observing if any of the hazards are still present and to what extent.
Risks are uncertain and depend heavily on the environment or industry. So, there is no clear approach to totally removing all risk from the workplace. However, a constant monitoring and review process can go a long way in ensuring that the measures put in place are working. This also helps to find any new risks that may arise.
There is no once-off approach to eliminating risks in the workplace. Instead, it should be a constant process of identifying, controlling, and reviewing the risks.
Enhance Risk Management With Safety Software
There are various ways to improve your approach to risk management, including using an app like Field1st. Hazard assessment tools are available for helping to improve workplace safety and reduce risks in the workplace. This can include things like safety observation, monitoring the risks, and creating an effective reporting system.
Risk management software can help bring your workplace up to compliance with OSHA standards, and it will help improve data and analytics around workplace hazards. Software like this also allows for a paperless approach, which really improves the efficiency of risk management steps.
Assessing and managing risk is an essential duty. Workplaces need to be as hazard-free as possible. This is necessary for meeting OSHA compliance standards and for creating a safer, more productive workplace.
Regardless of the scenario, it’s essential to implement a thorough risk management process. The five steps above can apply to all industries, and they will help manage, reduce, or eliminate any present hazards. Be sure to consider the use of safety compliance software to enhance the risk management process as well.