October 7, 2016

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Voice your opinion: HSE’s proposed changes to risk assessment guidance

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is asking for comments on changes they’re planning to make to their current guidance on risk.

The HSE has voiced concerns about people seeing the requirement to record significant findings of a risk assessment as something separate from other things they do to mange their business.

Risk assessments are “not about creating huge amounts of paperwork”, says the HSE and is instead about “identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace”.

The changes proposed by the HSE include putting more emphasis on controlling risk and less on written assessments.

They also want to make it clear to businesses that risk assessments should be art of day-to-day business management and part of existing business documents.

Read the full article and complete the HSE’s questionnaire to let them know what you think of the proposed changes.

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I think one of the biggest issues will always be, how to demonstrate a risk assessment approach without the documented evidence. I agree that risk management should be integrated into the business day to day operations, but when hauled up in court, you are always required to evidence your actions and this usually falls back to a documented methodology.

Bridget Leathley

Isn’t the point that at the moment “risk assessments” are written and filed away, whereas the key is that the controls are available to staff on a regular basis. Alternatives exist where the controls are determined by a risk assessment process, but then communicated to the workforce via labels, posters, toolbox talks etc etc. If you can demonstrate in court that the controls were communicated, that is more important that precisely how the risk assessment was carried out.

Martin Lawrie

a Bit late in commenting but…
The key is not the paperwork but as in all assessments, is the control, which usual relates to Trained individuals.
As with the Emergency services DYNAMIC risk is assessed if its within the scope of trained individuals then carry on.
Where there is a one off, or significant risk outwith the norm. then full RAMS should apply.