Management of risk. Definition of terms. Managing risks. Risk

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1 Definition of terms Risk Management of risk Risk is the possibility that harm (death, injury or illness) might occur when exposed to a hazard. A hazard is anything with the potential to cause injury or illness. s may be related to the work environment, the plant, equipment, tools and substances or the way work is organised. Risk assessment Involves the investigation of a task or process to determine the specific factors that have the potential to cause injury and to indicate their relative importance. Often a number of factors combine to increase the risk associated with a hazard. The assessment process provides an indication of priority for the development of control measures and their implementation. Managing risks The steps to manage hazards are as follows. 1. Identifying hazards. 2. Assess factors contributing to the hazards. 3. Controlling the hazards, ideally by eliminating them. If it is not possible to eliminate the risk then they must be minimised by implementing control measures, using the hierarchy of controls. Hierarchy of control measures Effectiveness Types of control Examples Most effective Elimination Eliminate the risk source Substitution Isolation Engineering controls Administrative controls Provide a safer alternative to performing the same task Construct a physical barrier or guard Redesign the task Develop policies, procedures, practices and guidelines in consultation with employees. Provide training, instruction and supervision about the risk source.

2 Effectiveness Types of control Examples Least effective Personal Protective Equipment Provide personal protective equipment to protect the individual from the risk source A safe and healthy workplace does not happen by chance or guesswork. You have to think about what could go wrong at your workplace and what the consequences could be. Then you must do whatever you can to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks arising from your business or undertaking. This process is known as risk management and involves the four steps set out in this Code (see Figure 1 below): 1. Identify hazards find out what could cause harm. 2. Assess risks if necessary understand the nature of the harm that could be caused by the hazard, how serious the harm could be and the likelihood of it happening. 3. Control risks implement the most effective control measure that is reasonably practicable in the circumstances. 4. Review control measures to ensure they are working as planned. Figure 1: The risk management process

3 Identifying hazards s can be identified by inspecting the workplace, observing tasks, talking to workers and checking records, e.g. workers compensation claims. s generally arise from the following aspects of work and their interaction: physical work environment equipment, materials and substances used work tasks and how they are performed work design and management. Table 1: Examples of common hazards Manual tasks Gravity Electricity Machinery and equipment ous chemicals Extreme temperatures Noise Radiation Biological Psychosocial hazards Potential harm Overexertion or repetitive movement can cause muscular strain Falling objects, falls, slips and trips of people can cause fractures, bruises, lacerations, dislocations, concussion, permanent injuries or death Potential ignition source Exposure to live electrical wires can cause shock, burns or death from electrocution Being hit by moving vehicles, or being caught by moving parts of machinery can cause fractures, bruises, lacerations, dislocations, permanent injuries or death Chemicals (such as acids, hydrocarbons, heavy metals) and dusts (such as asbestos and silica) can cause respiratory illnesses, cancers or dermatitis Heat can cause burns, heat stroke or fatigue Cold can cause hypothermia or frost bite Exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing damage Ultra violet, welding arc flashes, micro waves and lasers can cause burns, cancer or blindness Micro-organisms can cause hepatitis, legionnaires disease, Q fever, HIV/AIDS or allergies Effects of work-related stress, bullying, violence and work-related fatigue (SafeWork Australia, 2011 Model Code of Practice - How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks)

4 Risk assessment If all the hazards in the workplace are found and recorded it is necessary to set priorities so that the hazards that have the potential to cause the most harm can be identified and managed as a priority. This involves ranking the hazards by their estimated levels of risk (the likelihood of an accident occurring and the level of severity of the consequences). Estimated level of risk Likelihood of accident Severity of consequences Ranking of priority Control risks The best way to control a hazard is to eliminate the hazard. If this is not reasonably practicable, apply the hierarchy of control to reduce the risk. A combination of these controls may be used. Administration and PPE must be implemented if the risk still exists after the other the control measures have been implemented. Review Controls should be monitored and reviewed to check the hazards are eliminated and no unintended outcomes have resulted. Components of hazard management process Identification Inspections, surveys, observation Consultation Review of past records Assessment Set priorities by ranking all hazards Assess specific hazard in a task/process by: reviewing information on hazard identifying and investigating all risk factors considering current controls in place to decrease risk

5 Control Work through hierarchy of controls Decide on effective controls Allocate responsibility and timeframes for implementation of controls Implement Monitor and review What is the supervisor s role in risk management? Risk management is an essential role for supervisors in the management of workplace health and safety in the meat industry. Supervisors must ensure that all hazards are identified, the risks assessed, and effective control measures are developed and implemented. It is the supervisors role to conduct on plant inspections with the safety representatives and workers to ensure the health and safety of all involved. Conduct or advise the appropriate manager of WHS Committee of any changes to work areas, production etc that may deem a new RA to be undertaken. Further information AMIC OH&S and Workers Compensation database Risk and Safety Management AMIC OHS Risk Management Guide: for meat processing plants Australian red meat OHS reference guide Reference guide part 3: OHS Management Systems Safe Work Australia - Model Code of Practice - How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks WorkCover NSW General risk management Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Managing risk SafeWork SA - Risk Management Matrix

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