Assessing and Managing Health and Safety Risks
A risk assessment helps the individuals to have their choices met in the safest possible ways. Risk assessments are not only a legal requirement, they also provide clear guidance and information on how to keep people safe and prevent danger, harm and accidents. They identify hazards in a workplace, evaluate the level of risk and put in place measures or procedures to reduce risk. The individual circumstances of those for whom the risk assessment has been conducted are important to the way in which the risk is managed.
Examples of activities that might pose a risk to health and social care workers:-
- Moving an individual using a piece of equipment such as a hoist or wheelchair
- Changing soiled linen
- When providing personal care to an individual
Why the activities could pose a risk:
Below is an example of a risk assessment from a clients person centred support plan. This details the activity and explains the hazards associated with the activity.
There are five steps to a risk assessment which you need to understand:
- Identify the hazards of an area, a specific task or situation
- Identify those who may be harmed such as, individuals, visitors, other workers and contractors
- Evaluate the risk by looking at what methods are in place to control risks or reduce them
- Record the findings of the risk assessment to help remind everyone of what the risks are and how to reduce them
- Review and modify the risk assessment if and when changes happen to the tasks or workplace. Changes may increase risks or reduce them.
Identifying and assessing risks and putting in place measures to address them is an essential step to protect workers, clients and employers from harm. If risks are identified then measures can be put into place to minimize them. In most cases this could be simple and effective measures to ensure the workforce is protected. It is a legal requirement to identify, assess and manage risks in the workplace.
When providing care in an informal setting for example an individuals home, staff need to be aware that the ideal conditions may not exist but that this does not mean that they should be put at risk. Although an individual may choose themselves to take risks they should not put other people at risk.
Use to answer question 13.2a of the Care Certificate