Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment Procedure Explained (ISO 45001)

What Is A Hazard Identification & Risk Procedure?

The hazard identification & risk assessment procedure helps your company establish, implement, and maintain documented processes for the continuous identification of hazards and assessing risks attached. From these processes' outputs, the appropriate control measures can be implemented.

Contents

This risk management framework will define your company's current risk management processes and methodologies, training methods, reporting procedures, hazard identification procedures, risk assessments, risk appetites, and determining controls. Let’s look at the procedure for ISO 45001 clause 6.1.2 closer.

Hazard

Purpose of Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment Procedure

The purpose of the procedure is to establish, implement and maintain the documented procedures for the ongoing identification of all hazards, the assessments of risks, and the establishment of the necessary measures of control.

Scope - Actions to Address Risks and Opportunities

ISO 45001 sets the tone and international procedures for any company that wishes to carry their certification. The ISO 45001 manual can be used as the guideline to set up your company’s own Occupational Health and Safety System.

The scope of Actions to Address Risks and Opportunities applies to your company's Environmental, Health and Safety system, including all activities, products, services, and processes covered under it.

Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities confined in the company's Health and Safety System for hazard identification and risk assessments will be on the Health and Safety Manager and the Cross-Functional Team members.

Definitions

In order to quantify risk and identify hazards, a clear definition of each word needs to be documented in your company’s OH&S system.

  • Site – The work area that is covered by your company’s EHS system
  • Hazard – A source of potential harm to humans or a cause of ill health.
  • Risk –The likelihood of a situation causing a hazardous event
  • Normal – A situation that occurs when planned activities are carried out through controlled processes.
  • Abnormal – A situation that occurs when activities deviate from the controlled process.
  • Emergency – A situation that occurs from an undesirable or unforeseen event and has the potential to escalate to an uncontrollable situation.
  • Routine – Controlled activities that are carried out daily.
  • Non-routine – Activities that are carried out on occasion, such as maintenance.
  • Visitor – A non-employee of the company that visits the site.
  • Risk assessment – The entire process of risk assessment and the defining of the potential severity of the risk, whether it would be tolerable or intolerable.
  • Acceptable risk – Risk that is accepted by the company to be tolerable and will not cause harm.

Procedure

What Should Be Included In The Procedure?

The procedure was designed for hazard identification and risk assessment. Included in that should be the applicable methods of control, the definitions, responsibilities, and the suitability of control. Hazard identification needs to be done regularly for a risk assessment to be effective.

The Top 10 Hazards In The Workplace

  1. Noise
  2. Fire hazards
  3. Slips, trips, and falls
  4. Physical hazards
  5. Chemical hazards
  6. Ergonomic hazards
  7. Biological hazards
  8. Asbestos
  9. Electrical hazards
  10. Working in a confined space

Processes for Hazard Identification

  • Conduct pre-work discussions on daily activities to be carried out
  • Encourage personnel to recognize and report any hazards
  • Carry out safety inspections and workplace audits
  • Conduct JSA’s
  • Conduct HAZOPS
  • Analyze any new processes, materials, or structures
  • Review product safety data sheets
  • Research publicly available data
  • Research past near-miss reports and incident reports

Risk Assessment Processes And Responsibility Under Clause 6.1.2

Typically the responsibility of the risk assessment and hazard identification falls with the Health and Safety Manager. They work closely with a Cross-Functional Team that helps to execute the company’s OH&S.

Points for consideration under the Risk Assessment process would typically include;

  • Human factor – Stress, fatigue, illness
  • Ergonomics – Work place furniture, posture, seated hours
  • Adverse conditions – Emergencies, non-routine, routine
  • Maintenance – Plant maintenance and shutdown activities
  • Housekeeping – Plant and process
  • Material handling – Manual or mechanical
  • Hazardous substance – Working with chemicals, toxins, hot metals
  • Legal accountability – risks on account of statutory requirements

risk assesment

Risk Assessment Procedure

Doing regular risk assessments will keep the possibility of injury and loss to a controllable level. A full risk assessment should be conducted at least twice a year, and regular audits should follow.

Utilizing the help of the Cross-Functional Team, a physical site visit where identification of possible exposure, loss, task observations, and new processes should form part of the risk assessment.

Using the Hazard Identification and the rate of possible frequency these hazards may occur, the risk assessment is based on the probable and likely consequences of these hazards to the company, personnel, the environment, and citizens.

The Risk Assessment Steps

  1. Classify work activities
  2. Identify Hazards
  3. Determine the associated risks
  4. Evaluate risks and evaluate if the risk is acceptable
  5. Document and prepare a risk control action plan
  6. Review the efficiency of the plan regularly and update

Upon the Risk Assessment being completed, the risk consequences resulting from that need to be recorded.

The Risk Consequences Are Identified As

  • Social Impacts – The direct and negative consequence of the hazards on the physical health of a group of people.
  • Property Damage - The direct and negative consequence of the hazards on a building, properties, land, crops, and structures.
  • Critical Infrastructure Service Disruptions/Impact – The direct and negative consequence of the hazards on interactive and independent interconnected networks. That includes institutions, systems, services, and processes that supply critical human needs, protect public safety, sustain the economy and maintain their confidence in government.
  • Environmental Damage – The direct and negative consequence of the hazards on the environment. This includes water, animals, soil, plants, and air.
  • Business/Financial Impact – The direct and negative consequences of a hazard on the economy.
  • Psychosocial Impacts – The direct and negative response of a community or a subset of that community of their perception of the risk level caused by a hazard, for example, mass panic or self-evacuation.

Benefits

The Benefits of Risk-Based Thinking

In many ways, risk-based thinking helps to highlight and add to many of the benefits that a good Occupational Health & Safety system will bring to an organization. These benefits include:

  • Improved governance
  • Improved work environment
  • Improved compliance practices
  • Improved customer satisfaction

By adopting a risk-based approach, an organization can increase the effect of those benefits while also increasing their frequency.

Planning And Documenting Your Response To The Risks

The ISO 45001 guidelines require that all identified risks need to have a documented response protocol in place. These responses need to form part of your OH&S Management System. They need to be audited, reviewed, and regularly updated to stay relevant.

Author: Richard Keen
Updated: 26th August 2021

Richard Keen

Richard Keen

Richard is our Compliance Director, responsible for content & product development.
But most importantly he is ISO's biggest fanboy and a true evangelist of the standards.
Learn more about Richard

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Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment Procedure

The purpose of this procedure is to outline your organization’s ongoing and proactive methodology for the identification of operational hazards and the assessment of perceived risks to evaluate both existing and potential workplace hazards, and to determine the methods required to mitigate or eliminate the risks arising.

Forms & Reports also included:

  • Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment Process Turtle Diagram
  • Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (FMEA) Matrix
  • Hazard Identification Register
  • Health & Safety Risk Assessment
  • Job Safety Analysis Template
  • Workplace Inspection Template
  • Manual Handling Risk Assessment
  • COSHH Assessment Form
  • Work Equipment Risk Assessment

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