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The Assessment of Risk

 

The Assessment of Risk

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Table of Contents

Introduction. 2

Task 1: Outline of methods selected to identify hazards on a typical construction site. 2

Task 3: Analysis of the standard format documentation for identifying and recording hazards. 4

Task 4: Standard format documentation for identifying and recording hazards. 6

Task 5: Evaluation of the following changes in procedure or policy (4.2) 7

Task 6: Changes in risk assessment 8

Conclusion. 10

References. 11

Introduction

The report discusses 6 tasks with different objectives for health and safety at the workplace. construction site was used as a reference for this analysis. Issues included in the essay include identification of hazards and risks and ensuring general health and safety at the workplace. Recording of these was also included as an important step in risk assessment. Monitoring and review of risks, and responding to changes in legislation were also discussed in the report.

Task 1: Outline of methods selected to identify hazards on a typical construction site

Identification of hazards requires familiarity with the environment where a task is being implemented and the task itself. Physical inspection and interaction can form a good starting point for the hazards that are typical of the site in question. The following can be used to assess the hazards:

-Checking manufacturers; engineers and architects’ instructions in various materials, chemicals, tools, and equipment used in the construction site. Cautions given by the experts could be indicative of possible hazards at the site. Some of these could include electric shock, stalling machines by poor operation practices, and falling objects among others. Checking this could be useful in the assessment of the suitability of certain equipment or tools for work.

-Historical record of accidents and sickness records. This will assess what affected people at the site in the past and what could befall them even at this time. Doing this would identify obvious risks in the workplace exposed to workers.

-Assessing routine operations at the site. As was noted above, this is an operation that can be carried out by observing the operations of machines and taking note of obvious hazards. For example, wearing of masks and other protective gear, cleaning of machines, storage of tools and machines, working height of employees, design of scaffolds, and maintenance of machines among others.

-Looking at the long term of some of the practices such as painting without wearing a dust mask, and exposure to dangerous chemicals among others. For example, working with asbestos could be hazardous in the long run and needs to be considered if the assessor has knowledge of the effects.

-Asking various members and specialists could also provide information on some practices that may not be obvious to people not involved in the construction process. Their insights may also help in identifying construction site hazards. For example, asking for their training and experience can be used to tell where it is a hazard in the workplace. Poorly trained could be a hazard to themselves, others, and the quality of work at the site.

Task 2: Primary hazards associated with the construction process and method statement

  1. Using mobile cranes for lifting precast concrete floor planks
  2. Untrained and inexperienced workers are a hazard to general work, themselves, and others at the site
  • Poorly maintained machines for the work such as oiling could be a hazard. The machines need to be well maintained for them to perform the work effectively
  1. Electrical hazards due to overhead wirelines that an operator may overlook and which crane can reach with an elongated arm.
  2. Overloading which can cause a crane to trip and cause injuries and loss of property.
  3. Falling objects during construction work can cause injury. This is the case for beams being lifted to the site.
  • Using a pump to pour a concrete floor slab
  1. Hazard of hose whipping due to contact as air enters placing lines
  2. Poorly adjusted pressure can cause injuries if it is too much
  • Poorly trained staff with no experience in this.
  1. Cement is alkaline and if caution is not taken, it could cause severe burns to users.
  2. Poor reinforcement when pouring concrete that may cause users to fall
  3. Unstable terrain may make access difficult (Ministry of Business,Innovation & Employment, 2013)
  • The installation of a beam and block ground floor
  1. Beams falling over due to misalignments
  2. Too heavy beams for cranes to lift
  • Workers falling over from vertical heights

Task 3: Analysis of the standard format documentation for identifying and recording hazards

It is necessary that all hazards are recorded in a standard format that is easy to follow by all that it is addressed to. The main aim of the report should be to notify and inform of the existence of a given hazard so that proper preventive measures are taken before they develop into risks and possible losses to people, organisations, or injuries. Using standardised forms is useful for ease of identification of a hazard. This should contain question and answer for each, all aligned in one answer for ease of assessment.

According to Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation (1991), as a formal document, it should have the address of the source or assessor and the people to whom it is addressed to. The aim should also be stated at the top, followed by a ranking of the hazard that was noted. Criticality is the second item on the list that should get attention because it is the subject of this assessment. CCPS (Center for Chemical Process Safety, 2010) noted that such standardised forms could contain information such as identification of people working at the site where employees’ experience, nature and degree of hazards, statistical accident data, nature of materials handled, and actual tasks performed are recorded. Other information would include the identification of key tasks, the identification of regulations that need to be observed, and the involvement of employees when assessing a hazard.

The standard format also follows with a description of the problem noted under the description of Deviation. This enables the reader to link criticality and the source of the problem in summary. Following this is specific item identification. This is important in cases where there are many pieces of equipment and machinery that could have different problems. Most equipment will have unique identifying codes or serial numbers. Further, there is a need for the inclusion of areas or parts where hazards were noted, it is a mechanical tool. For this case, all faulty parts or areas are noted.

The consequence is another section of the report that explains what the hazard will likely result in. This should be straightforward in pointing to effects on operations, work processes, or any other likely effect of the hazard.

Suggested mitigation should explain what should or can be done to prevent the consequences of the name from occurring. They should be clearly stated and where possible, they should be comprehensive and listed in an easy manner to follow. These are not descriptions but actionable steps for the specified hazard.

Resolution as the last step should be done as a follow-up to the steps given above and an assessment of how mitigation steps were followed and their effects. This should complete the process of assessment on whether the hazard was resolved or not.

This would take a format as below:

Task 4: Standard format documentation for identifying and recording hazards

The form would take the following format to identify and record all risks at the construction site:

The form included details of who is doing the assessment and when. These are done as introductory parts. The basic content of the firm is to identify the noted risk, persons that are at risk, and actions needed to be taken to address the risk. People taking action, dates when actions are needed, when resolutions were checked, and whether they were resolved are also recorded.

The form is used to address significant hazards and risk assessments in an organisation. Being in a standard format allows several risks to hazards to be recorded and makes it easier for people to use it because of ease of identification. The important part is details of what is done to address the risks identified. There is a need to complete an assessment of all risks and correct identification by qualified staff that will undersign the document for veracity purposes.

The inclusion of the date when the mitigations were done is important as well as what was actually done for assessment. This would form a basis for future reference of what was done with regard to the risks as was noted above as a historic source to new identification of risks.

Task 5: Evaluation of the following changes in procedure or policy (4.2)

  • A glove policy is to be mandatory where all operatives will wear safety protection on the hands whilst on site

The new policy is aimed at protecting and reducing injuries of all employees at the workplace. It is a requirement that all employers should keep, to select all employees to have and use appropriate protection at all times they are at the site. This is to ensure protection from exposure to common hazards such as caustic substances that can cause burns such as acids, severe abrasions, chemical burns, and high temperatures that can cause burns or prevent absorption of lethal substances through the skin.

According to HSE (2015), there is a need to consideration of several factors in choosing a glove to be used at the workplace and this would include identification of substances being handled, all other related hazards at the place, type, and duration of exposure to hazard, or where they will be used. For proper protection, it is essential that correct size and comfortable size is worn. Depending on these factors, gloves of the correct material, design, and thickness should be chosen. They are designed to offer protection to a particular time and worn-out ones should be replaced. The employer is required to assess this periodically to check on the condition of the glove so as not to expose users to any potential risk. The use of gloves also extends to how they are removed in case of exposure to chemicals. To ensure people use them as required, posters could be placed at strategic locations to remind them as they enter or get started in their assigned duties.

  • A non–smoking policy is to be implemented on all construction sites

Smoking can be risky if done inappropriately. There should be areas that should be designated as smoke-free or non-smoking completely, especially where inflammable substances such as fuel are stored. There is no law requiring absolute non-smoking and employers and employees agree on the level it will be imposed. In the construction site, agreement will be made on where this can be done but generally, it should not expose others to the risk. It is site-specific and as agreed in the workplace there will be a need for employers to protect the rights of those that wish not to be exposed to smoke. Because the construction site is open, this will be a total ban unless workers do it in an area outside the construction site. But that will imply smoking means employees that are addicts will be affected and may reduce performance. Thus, there must be signage areas for smoking. Failing to prevent adequate signage of smoking may attract legal suits from affected employees, reaching £2,500 (Health and Safety, 2007). This responsibility extends to the construction site.

  • All working at height will be subject to a permit system

There is a law that prevents employees from working at excessive heights that may cause industry or death should one fall. The first requirement is to have competent people to work at the site, the right equipment is used conditions do not endanger workers. As one in charge, there is a need to ensure a ladder is placed on a flat and stable supporting ground or roof and vertical height where it will be leaning. Before using a ladder, there is a need to ensure there is work that can be done without one. Where there isn’t, only then can a ladder be used, and when used, all workers should be able to get to and from the required heights.

When working at heights, it is important to ensure workers should be supervised by competent people to ensure correct equipment is used, appropriate protective gear is used. Only skilled and experienced people should be allowed to work at high heights. Emergency planning should be in place due to the risky nature of the working environment. Lifting loads should be adequate and overreaching should be avoided to reduce the risk of falling.

Task 6: Changes in risk assessment

Assessment should be a careful analysis of a task, where it is done, and the potential harm that can occur to people. Risks are not just listed but assessed on the potentiality to happen and the extent of damage to affected people. Changes to occur are to ensure the exercise is not done as a formality but one that can control risks of harm in a workplace. It is an ongoing process that is illustrated below:

risk management framework

Source: Chartered Accountants, Australia (2016)

The changes are aimed at ensuring there are effective controls in processes at the workplace. There could be new processes and tools that may be present and that may introduce new risks. The continuous review also ensures there is adequate data collection to improve risk assessment. The following is a risk assessment of two workplaces.

Changes that will be introduced will be mainly on risk identification, risk monitoring and review. This will be done using a standard form, which will also act as a risk register:

Workers will be notified and trained on reporting any risks periodically. The person taking action is also supposed to supervise at the said time at night to ensure recommended actions are implemented. For each area of work, there will be a person that will be responsible for reporting these issues. These will be senior, skilled, and knowledgeable in a given section.

Conclusion

The tasks required an assessment of various processes and activities needed to ensure health and safety at the workplace. The tasks tested the ability to identify hazards and assessment of risks at the workplace. A construction site was used for this assessment. Typical hazards were recorded for the site and actions that need to be taken to ensure the environment is safe. Protection from this including wearing protective gear, and installation of appropriate posters to remind and inform workers of any risk was also discussed. Risk assessment is an ongoing process that is done periodically to ensure emerging issues are noted and previous recommendations are implemented and noted.

References

Center for Chemical Process Safety, 2010. Guidelines for Process Safety Documentation. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Chartered Accountants, Australia, 2016. 5. Monitor & Review. [Online]
Health and Safety Executive, 2015. Choosing the right gloves to protect skin: a guide for employers. [Online]
Health and Safety, 2007. Site specifics: going smoke-free. [Online]

Ministry of Business,Innovation & Employment, 2013. Health & Safety:, Concrete Pumping Health and Safety Guidelines. [Online]
Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation, 1991. Risk Assessment and Risk Management for the Chemical Process Industry. New Yokr: John Wiley & Sons.

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