Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Controlling risks

A risk assessment is of no value if the results are not acted upon. The overarching objective has to be to reduce risk.

The first question to ask must always be 'can the hazard be removed?' If the answer is no, there is a hierarchy of control measures to consider. In this case always start at the top, as these are the most effective controls. The options are

* Trying a less risky option (changing process, materials, quantities)
* Installing physical barriers that prevent access to the hazards
* Implementing procedural controls and rules to keep people away from the hazard

On top of these the following should also be considered as additional measures

* Providing information
* Emergency arrangements including welfare, first aid, fire fighting

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