Published 11 Aug 2023
A health and safety risk assessment is a systematic process of identifying potential hazards in a workplace or environment, evaluating the risks associated with those hazards, and implementing appropriate control measures to minimize or eliminate those risks. The purpose of a risk assessment is to protect the health, safety, and well-being of individuals within an organization, including employees, visitors, and any other individuals present on the premises.
During a health and safety risk assessment, hazards are identified through a careful examination of the workplace, including physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, and psychosocial factors. These hazards can include things like slippery floors, hazardous chemicals, excessive noise, poor ergonomics, or high levels of stress. Once hazards are identified, their associated risks are assessed by considering the likelihood of harm occurring and the potential severity of the harm. This helps prioritize the risks and determine where efforts should be focused to effectively manage them.
Health and safety risk assessment is a proactive approach to identifying and managing potential hazards and risks in the workplace. By conducting these assessments and implementing appropriate control measures, organizations can create a safer and healthier environment for everyone involved.
This general health and safety risk assessment checklist allows you to do the following:
- Add basic information about the risk assessment such as date and time of inspection, location, name of the inspector, and client or company name
- Enter the description of the procedure, task, or worksite being assessed
- Determine if there are biological and chemical hazards, critical incidents, and energy systems, environment, facilities, machinery, and ergonomics issues observed
- Specify the type of hazards of issues
- Define the level of risk rating via consequence and likelihood
- Choose appropriate control measures to counter the hazard (elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, PPE, others)
- Monitor and review the effectiveness of chosen controls
A safety inspection is a process of assessing and evaluating a workplace, facility, or activity to identify potential hazards, risks, and non-compliance with work safety regulations. Performing regular safety checks help prevent incidents that can result in unwanted incidents, damage to property, disruptions in operations, injuries, or even loss of life.
Safety inspections differ based on the environment and industry of a business, but some of the aspects and questions to ask are the following:
General Housekeeping Safety
- Are workspaces clean and orderly?
- Are aisles, hallways, and exits free of obstruction?
- Are materials stored securely and limited in height to prevent collapse?
- Are all hazardous materials properly stored and labeled?
- Are safety manuals visible and accessible?
- Do team members know where the safety manuals are stored? (Have someone show you)
- Are emergency exit maps posted and clearly marked?
- Are emergency exits free from obstructions?
- Are fire extinguishers current on inspection?
This simple safety inspection checklist empowers employees and safety officers to conduct regular and random inspections in their daily operations. This template is ready to use but is highly customizable to meet the nature of your industry and the specific needs of your business.
HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) focuses on ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of individuals in a facility and workplace, while also considering the potential impact a business may have on the environment.
HSE risk assessments involve identifying, analyzing, and evaluating potential risks and hazards in a workplace or activity. It aims to assess the likelihood and severity of harm to people, property, and the environment, and to implement appropriate control measures to mitigate or eliminate those risks.
Here are the key steps for performing a reliable HSE risk assessment:
- Identify hazards - List all potential hazards associated with the workplace, processes, or activities. This may include physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, and psychosocial hazards.
- Assess risk severity - Consider all the listed risks and define their severity by associating the potential consequence those risks may have. This can include injuries, minor, and major injuries, as well as fatality.
- Evaluate risk likelihood - Determine the probability of the risks happening by tagging them as very likely, likely, unlikely, and highly likely.
- Analyze the risk - Combine the severity and likelihood assessments to determine the overall risk level associated with each hazard. This can be done by using a risk matrix or other methods that assign risk levels based on the intersection of severity and likelihood.
- Select control measures - Choose preventive or control measures to minimize or eliminate the identified risks. This includes elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, PPE, and others.
- Implement control measures - Put the identified control measures into action and ensure that the necessary resources, training, and communication are provided to effectively enforce them.
- Monitor progress - Ensure the effectiveness of measures by performing periodic reassessments of hazards and risks, while considering any changes in processes, equipment, or regulations.
Use this customizable template to efficiently and effectively conduct HSE risk assessments in your organization. This template specifically allows you to check factors such as biological, chemical, critical incidents, energy systems, environment, facilities, machinery, manual tasks, and people.
EHS audit or assessment is a systematic evaluation of an organization's compliance with environmental, health, and safety regulations and best practices. It involves a comprehensive review of processes, practices, documentation, and physical conditions to identify areas of non-compliance and potential risks.
EHS audits are essential for organizations to proactively identify and address EHS risks, ensure compliance with legal requirements, promote a culture of safety and environmental stewardship, and safeguard the well-being of employees, communities, and the environment. They help organizations identify areas for improvement and enhance their EHS management systems to achieve operational excellence.
Use this Environment Health and Safety Audit to conduct a visual inspection of the workplace by doing the following activities:
- Check the general safety of the site
- Identify electrical and fire hazards and capture photos as evidence
- Evaluate if proper laboratory controls are applied to prevent contamination and overexposure to chemicals
- Assess the condition of vehicles used for the operation to prevent vehicular accidents, if applicable.
- Add recommendations and a digital signature to complete the inspection report.
Regular and consistent inspections are crucial for businesses. The frequency of inspections may vary based on the nature of the business, industry, and associated hazards that come along with them. Doing inspections at regular intervals not only ensures consistency but also empowers businesses to continuously identify areas for improvement in their relevant processes.
This monthly health and safety inspection checklist specifically focuses on restaurants and can be used by businesses in the hospitality industry to do the following:
- Ensure proper communication and setting of expectations
- Prevent serious incidents involving emergencies and electrical issues
- Prevent strains and sprains
- Prevent cuts and lacerations
- Prevent chemical poisoning and other related hazards
- Prevent burn injuries
- Confirm implementation of incident investigations
- Review records and statistics
- Assess first-aid approach
It is essential to conduct regular PPE inspections to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the equipment and to prevent potential accidents or injuries. They should be performed before each use, periodically as recommended by manufacturers, and whenever there is a significant event or incident that could impact the integrity of the PPE.
The purpose of PPE inspection is to ensure that the equipment is in proper working order, free from damage or defects, and capable of providing the necessary protection. The things to do during the inspection are:
- Visual examination
- Functionality assessment
- Cleanliness check
- Component inspection
- Compliance evaluation
This OSHA PPE Checklist contains 17 general inspection items to determine the need for PPE in protecting the workers, as well as equipment checks and evaluation of compliance with safety rules when utilizing the equipment.