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  • Sharon Burbidge

Principles of Risk Assessment

Updated: Mar 1, 2019


Step 1 - Identifying the hazard


Look only for the hazards you could reasonably expect to result in significant harm under the conditions in your workplace. Examples include:

  • Slipping/tripping hazards (floor and stairs);

  • Fire;

  • Chemicals and hot liquids;

  • Vehicles;

  • Moving parts of machinery;

  • Tools and equipment;

  • Human factors;

  • Electricity;

  • Dust;

  • Fumes;

  • Manual handling;

  • Noise;

  • Poor lighting;

  • Low temperatures; and

  • Work-related stress.

Step 2 - Identify those who might be harmed


Think about groups of people such as:

  • Employees;

  • Residents;

  • Visitors;

  • Contractors;

  • Cleaners;

  • Inexperienced staff;

  • Young persons;

  • The disabled; and

  • Pregnant women.

Step 3 - Evaluate risk by considering existing precautions


Are the risks adequately controlled?

Do you meet legal requirements?

Are you following relevant published guidelines?

Is the practiced method to a good standard?

Have the risks been reduced as far as reasonably practicable?

Have adequate instruction and training been provided?

Are the systems and procedures adequate?


If existing precautions are not to an acceptable level, suitable control measures should be identified that will reduce the risk to an acceptable level.


Step 4 - Record the findings


It is recommended that all businesses have a written record of significant findings. However, if the company has five or more employees it is a legal requirement.


Step 5 - Review and revise as necessary


Risk Assessments must be reviewed and revised as necessary. Particular attention should be paid when changes occur in the workplace or if there is an accident or a near miss.


If there is a significant risk, it must be evaluated and a decision made as to what measures need to be taken to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.





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