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Risk Assessment

Designed By Joe Hanson

Maintaining a safe environment requires consistent evaluation to identify
hazards. Identify safety issues and determine what should be done to solve
them by conducting a risk assessment. Apply these five steps to ensure a
successful risk assessment to improve safety facility-wide.

Evaluate and control hazards today!

The following is a transcript of the Risk Assessment infographic:

Risk Assessment
To improve safety in a facility, you need to understand and address the safety
issues. A standardized way to get this understanding and create effective
improvements is a Risk Assessment. The same general approach can be used
for most types of safety issues, as with Electrical Risk Assessments or
Chemical Risk Assessments.

Every Successful Risk Assessment Includes These Five Steps:


What Are We Thinking About?

Make a list of the safety issues you need to address. This may be a Chemical
Inventory, Equipment Inventory, a Job/Task List, or all of those things.
EXAMPLES: Degreasers, Work Platform, Oven Exhaust, Feeding the Alligators


What’s the Problem?

For each item on the list, identify the specific hazards involved. (A hazard is a
potential source of injury or loss.)
EXAMPLES: Toxic Chemicals, High Ledge, Hot Surface, Hungry Alligators


How Bad is it?

For each hazard, consider the following: How likely is the hazard to actually
cause harm?
a. How often are people exposed to the hazard?
b. When a person is exposed, how likely is that exposure to lead to a harmful
c. When a harmful event happens, how difficult is it for a person to avoid harm?

If a person is actually harmed by the hazard, how serious will that harm be? The
combination of these ideas — that is, the combination of the likelihood and the
severity of an injury that results from a hazard — is called Risk.


The degreaser is used for hours every day, and contact with the liquid or fumes
can cause irritation (high likelihood). Brief exposures will only cause nausea
(low severity). Overall, this is a medium risk.

Workers only need to access the raised platform for annual inspections, and
guards are in place (low likelihood). However, a fall could be deadly (high
severity). Overall, this is a medium risk.

The oven exhaust system is hard to reach, and work on it requires the oven to
be locked out (low likelihood). The surfaces are only hot enough to cause first-
degree burns (low severity). Overall, this is a very low risk.

Feeding alligators from the edge of the alligator pit is a very high-risk activity; it
would be easy for the feeder to fall in (high likelihood), and they could be eaten
by the alligators (high severity). Overall, this is a very high risk.


What Should be Done?

Once you’ve evaluated the risks involved with a hazard, assign protective steps,
or Controls, to reduce those risks. A common approach is to use the Hierarchy
of Controls, which tries the most effective types of controls first:

1. Elimination

Remove the hazard entirely.

 Stop using the solvent

 Lower equipment to ground level
 Switch to room-temperature curing process
 Send alligators to zoo

2. Substitution

Replace a high-risk hazard with a low-risk hazard.

 Use a less dangerous solvent

 Lower equipment to reduced height
 Reduce oven temperature
 Replace alligators with dwarf caimans

3. Engineering Controls

Physically change the equipment or work environment to separate workers from

the hazard.

 Install a fume hood

 Add locking gate to platform to prevent access
 Add stand-off mesh around exhaust lines
 Build guardrails around pit

4. Awareness

Provide information to help workers understand the risks and act safely.

 Chemical safety training and container labels

 Fall protection training
 “Hot Surface” signs
 Alligator warning signs

5. Administrative Controls

Create instructions or safe work procedures for expected conditions.

 Adhere to time limits for solvent use

 Require written approval to access platform
 Run oven cycle only during off shifts
 Prohibit workers from crossing boundary line

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Provide protective gear for workers to wear as a last line of defense

 Gloves and goggles

 Fall arresting harness
 Long sleeves and gloves
 Big dog-training suit


What Happened?

It’s hard to make lasting improvements in the long run without writing things
down. For your Risk Assessment, create documentation that shows these

 Who did the assessment, and when?

 What safety issues were evaluated?
 What were the hazards and risks, as assessed?
 What controls were assigned, and who was responsible for implementing


When you need safety signs, container labels, or instruction postings, a
DuraLabel Labeling System will print exactly what you need. For boundary lines
or clearance markings, the PathFinder line of floor marking and safety tapes will
accomplish your needs.

Improve Chemical Safety with a Risk Assessment!

Download the Free Best Practice Guide for Chemical Risk Assessment