Key actions in effective risk profiling
- Identify who takes ownership of health and safety risks
- This might be the owner, or chief executive - in larger organisations it may be a risk committee or a senior board champion for health and safety
- Think about the consequences of the worst possible occurrence for your organisation
- How confident are you that plans are in place to control the effects?
- Ensure that risk assessments are carried out by a competent person
- This is someone who has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety effectively
- Maintain an overview of the risk-profiling process
- Make sure you are aware of the major risks within your organisation
- Check that minor risks have not been given too much priority and that major risks have not been overlooked
- Identify who will be responsible for implementing risk controls and over what timescale
- Remember to assess the effects of changing technology
- Think about issues related to changes in asset ownership. This may increase the risk profile if design information and knowledge haven’t been passed on
- Have the effects of ageing plant and equipment been examined?
Identify the risks
- Identify the health and safety risks from the business and prioritise them. Think about the severity of the harm and the likelihood of occurrence. Concentrate on priority risks
- Ensure that risks are owned so that appropriate resources can be allocated
- Consider whether other risks are due to health and safety lapses
Who might be affected?
- Think about everyone who might be affected by your work activities. Remember that certain groups may be at increased risk, eg young or inexperienced workers, pregnant workers, workers with a disability, migrant workers or ageing workers
- Consider whether any control measures are already in place or if further action is needed
- Recognise that full implementation of control measures may take time, and implement interim measures to minimise the risks
Report, record and review
- Report risk control performance regularly internally and consider whether it should be done externally
- Make sure paperwork is kept to the minimum levels necessary. You only need to record the risk assessment if you employ five or more people
- Review the organisation’s risk profile regularly. Change within the organisation will affect the risk profile, eg during economic cycles such as recession and recovery, when there is an increase in workload, or when experience levels drop
Worker consultation and involvement
- Do workers understand the organisation’s risk profile?
- Do they have the necessary information, instruction and training to deal with the risks that have been identified?
- Consult with workers and their representatives in all parts of the organisation to ensure that all areas of risk have been identified
- A broad knowledge of the entire organisation will be needed to draw up its risk profile
- In high-hazard organisations, identify what specialist advice may be necessary to identify hazards and analyse the risks
- Make sure workers are trained and have information about risk controls