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UpdatesMay 07, 2014

4 steps to manage the risks of workplace health and safety hazards

You have a duty under health and safety legislation to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that your workers are not exposed to the risk of work-related harm.

By Charles Power

You have a duty under health and safety legislation to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that your workers are not exposed to the risk of work-related harm. This includes the harm that can result from workplace hazards.What are workplace hazards?A hazard is any situation, substance, activity, event or environment that could potentially cause injury or ill health.

Common workplace hazards include:

To meet your health and safety obligations in regards to hazards, you must carry out a risk management process that consists of four steps:

Step 1: Identify hazards in your workplace

There are many ways to identify hazards, including:

Step 2: Assess their potential to cause harm

Consider how likely it is that exposure to the hazard will affect people’s health and safety and what consequences could occur because of that exposure.

Step 3: Control the risk by eliminating the hazard, or, if elimination is not reasonably practicable, minimise the risk using one or more controls

It is critical that you immediately ensure a hazard is rendered free of risk once it has been identified. This may mean:

If there is more than one hazard, prioritise the risks so that you implement control measures for the hazard with the highest risk first. The higher the risk that serious harm will result from exposure to a hazard, the higher priority you should give to eliminating or minimising that risk.

Step 4: Monitor the hazards and review the controls to ensure that they are minimising the risk effectively

Once a control has been implemented, you must monitor its effectiveness and reassess the risks of the job to ensure that:

Regards,

Charles PowerEditor-in-Chief
Employment Law Practical Handbook

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