Decide who might be harmed and how (Transcript)

Once the significant hazards have been identified, consideration should be given to the people that may be affected, the type of harm that could occur and the situations that might lead up to it (under reasonably foreseeable circumstances).

Really think this through, considering both normal, routine operations in addition to situations that are outside of the norm, such as emergencies, maintenance, equipment shutdowns etc.

Identify groups of people (e.g. ‘people working in the storeroom’ or ‘passers-by’), and in each case think about how they might be harmed, (i.e. what type of injury or ill health might occur). For example, ‘shelf stackers may suffer back injury from the repeated lifting of boxes’. Think about health issues as well as safety issues and long-term (chronic) effects as well as short-term (acute) effects.

Some groups of workers are covered by specific legal requirements for risk assessment, e.g. new and young workers, new or expectant mothers and people with disabilities who may be at particular risk (these will be discussed later).

Other groups of workers, who may not be in the workplace all the time may require additional consideration, e.g. cleaners, visitors, contractors, maintenance workers etc. In a shared workplace the possibility of work activities affecting the health and safety of employees of a neighbouring employer must also be considered. Members of the public must also be considered if they could be hurt by work activities.

Remember to include the input of employees, especially those who actually carry out the work activities under consideration. They may have a better understanding of how the tasks are performed, including routine violations of current procedures.

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