No matter the industry or size of a business, accidents happen. Risk assessments help prevent injuries and illnesses in a business to help keep you, your employees and the public safe. While it can be time consuming to perform risk assessments and implement changes, the consequences of not doing so may raise your insurance rates, result in worker compensation claims and reduce productivity.
Evaluating Business Risks
In addition to physical risks, it is important to evaluate risks to your business. When conducting a risk assessment, examine the structure of the business and determine whether the tax implications and assignment of liabilities are a good fit. Examining the management style at the workplace can help you determine if it encourages productivity and motivates employees to remain goal-oriented. Another example of a business risk assessment is seeing if the company’s organizational development encourages a culture that includes employee participation regarding important decisions and workplace safety.
Evaluating the Work Force
Take note of the diversity and population of your work force. Compare this to the type of employment structure you use, such as contracted workers or direct employees on a payroll. Analyze the types of shifts your employees work and the locations in which they work. For example, you may notice that employees who do shift work at night are not as productive as those who work during the day and tend to have more accidents. By investigating the cause of this situation, you may learn that night shift employees are simply more tired than the others and that assigning them to work a swing shift or an adjusted schedule can help lower the amount of injury reports.
Evaluating the Workplace
When you evaluate the actual workplace, take into consideration its size and location. Compare these physical attributes to the type of work performed, as well as the nature and degree of inherent dangers. If your business is located near a body of water that floods often, for example, you may find that relocating to an area of the city that is at a higher elevation can help solve issues regarding business continuity. Another example of evaluating the workplace can include examining the machinery you use, the safety precautions employed to reduce risks while using machinery and the ongoing effort to make the workplace safer. When examining machinery, it is important to remember to assess the security of the computer networks and IT structures.
Risk assessment for a workplace does not have to be the sole responsibility of one individual. By enabling employees to understand that they have the right to work in a safe environment, they also have the responsibility to practice safety techniques. In addition to appointing a safety committee, encourage an open dialogue between staff and supervisors regarding safe practices. Bear in mind that some workers, like expectant mothers or disabled workers, may have safety needs that differ from those of other workers, so it is beneficial to seek additional points of view when conducting an assessment.