Once you have identified the hazards, you need
to decide what to do about them. You should think
about what controls you already have in place, and how the work is
organised. You should then consider if there is
anything more you should be doing.
You'll need to prioritise the hazards you deal
with. Consider your existing precautions and decide whether
the remaining risk of harm from a hazard is high,
medium or low.
If you decide that it is low, then your
existing precautions are likely to be adequate. If you decide
it is high or medium, it is likely that you need to take further
steps to lower the risk. Remember that when evaluating risks
you should pay particular attention to the following key areas:
- Vulnerable groups such as disabled people, trainees, those
working on their own and expectant mothers.
- Visitors - for example, cleaning and maintenance contractors,
suppliers, customers and members of the public who share or pass
through your premises.
- The wider environment - for instance, your local community
could be harmed by poor waste management practices, eg by pouring
chemicals down a drain. Such activities may also be illegal.
Take steps to control workplace risks
You are not expected to eliminate all risk,
but you are required to protect people as far as 'reasonably
practicable'. This could mean, for example:
- replacing old cabling
- replacing hazardous materials with less harmful ones
- changing behaviour or work practices
- changing workplace layouts or lighting systems
Think about whether you can:
- lower the quantities of the hazardous item
- reduce the number of people exposed to hazards
- decrease the time that people are exposed to hazards
- isolate the hazard
- introduce equipment to control the hazard
- introduce better working practices and systems
- issue protective equipment or clothing
You can also consider improving
communication in the workplace and developing
better training procedures. If your industry
has a trade association, it may provide guidelines
on safety issues relevant to your business.
Leaflets on hazards and best practice control measures are
available from the Health & Safety
Executive (HSE) website.
Last Updated - 02/04/2012