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Risk Assessments and Safe Working Procedures

Clients with a Lighthouse ‘Competent Person’ support contract will benefit from support and assistance with devising both Risk Assessments and Safe Working Procedures

These are documents prepared for communication to employees, detailing how they should conduct themselves in a safe manner when going about their day to day operations.

At Lighthouse, our Health and Safety consultants are competent in identifying hazards and processes which present risk to employees.

Risk Assessments

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require all organisations with 5 or more employees to conduct Risk Assessments and to communicate these with their employees.

A risk assessment is a technical document, devised to assess the potential hazards associated with a working environment or process, and detail the control measures implemented by the organisation in order to reduce the inherent risk.

Many organisations will use an initial risk rating factor on a high, medium or low scale to highlight the risk exposure when no controls are in place, and then a residual risk rating showing how the factor has moved when the control measures are considered.

This process enables them to demonstrate to anyone interrogating their documents that they have considered their duty of care to employees and moved to implement measures to protect their safety and health whilst at work.

There are a number of ways to conduct a risk assessment. Some organisations will have risk assessments by process or machinery item. For example, an engineering workshop may have a single risk assessment for each item of machinery. This is logical as there will most likely only be a few skilled operatives who utilise each machine, and so the risk assessment needs to be specific to their duties.

Other organisations such as an office or retail store, may risk assess by area of operation. For example, the front of house in a retail environment could be risk assessed in its entirety, with the stockholding /warehousing areas warranting another assessment. This is because specific processes take place in each area, but operatives may conduct a number of duties in their day to day operations in that area.

Risk Assessments in the workplace should be regularly reviewed and communicated. New starters can often be overlooked as can changes to the working environment.

Your Lighthouse Health and Safety consultant can guide you through the best process for developing risk assessments for your operations.

We will help you to draft suitable documents and also assist in the communication of these to the operatives that they are relevant to.

Evidence of communication can also be collated for future use if required.

Safe Working Procedures

A Safe Working Procedure is a step by step method of how to deliver a task having reduced the risk of hazards to the absolute minimum.

They should be drafted by taking the risk assessment for the process into account.

Safe Working Procedures will often detail instructions as to company policy for operation of a specific item of machinery or process equipment. They should include all elements of the operative’s duties in the safe operation of that machinery or equipment.

Communication of safe working procedures is vital as they are the organisation’s rules of engagement for employees and clearly evidence the dos and don’ts of day to day procedures.

Safe Working Procedures should be regularly reviewed, in line with the risk assessment as detailed above.

Your Lighthouse Health and Safety consultant can assist in developing safe working procedures for your company, along with communicating them and recording this for future reference.

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