Internal assessments are the number one way to uncover risks in your workplace. Conducting a risk assessment in your workplace will allow you to minimize risks, better comply with workplace safety regulations and help you to create and maintain a healthier work environment.
The employer is responsible for removing all barriers to safe work. When this obligation is not upheld, the image of the company will suffer – it becomes harder to recruit great people and consumers won’t buy your products or services. Allegations of unsafe working conditions and injury on the job can be expensive once the legal and social costs are tallied.
Documenting health and safety concerns is a critical part of reducing risk. Download this handy, free Incident Report Template to get started.
What is a Risk Assessment?
The group at healthyworkinglives.com gives a complete definition of the term risk assessment:
“A risk assessment is a systematic method of looking at work activities, considering what could go wrong, and deciding on suitable control measures to prevent loss, damage or injury in the workplace. The Assessment should include the controls required to eliminate, reduce or minimize the risks.”
Why Are Risk Assessments Important?
It’s mandatory to ensure the safety of all employees while at work. Workplace safety is a major concern for employees and is the source of a lot of internal complaints. Even the smallest complaint about the issue of safety in the workplace should be investigated.
If you are unaware of the risks in your workplace, you are putting yourself, your employees, customers and the entire organization in danger. When it comes to employee safety, going above the legal minimum will help to eliminate as much of the risk as possible and to reduce the number of safety-related incidents reported.
Every company should conduct an examination of the workplace and its functions at least once a year in order to remain up-to-date on any new risks that have been introduced or discovered that could be compromising the ability of employees to complete their work.
Companies that use case management software to conduct better investigations and manage internal incidents have an advantage over those that don’t. A good case management solution ensures safety matters don’t fall through the cracks, provides data that identifies areas of risk and helps you make the workplace safer by following up on complaints and making the necessary adjustments to eliminate the problem.
Employees often report workplace concerns anonymously. For tips on dealing with this scenario, download the free cheat sheet: Handling Anonymous Reports.
Benefits of a Risk Assessment
Millions of dollars are awarded in workplace safety cases each year. Many of these cases also gather significant media attention- putting your name in the spotlight in the most undesirable of times. When you take the time to conduct a risk assessment, evaluate the findings and make corrections to the risks discovered during the assessment, you will be providing the following benefits to your company:
- Optimal Productivity - When you eliminate barriers that employees face when trying to complete their jobs and provide them with the proper working tools to complete tasks, productivity and the quality of work will be higher. When employees have to deal with defective tools or systems, they waste time trying to fix things, resulting in wasted company time and money. Invest in facility upgrades, create an ergonomic workspace and train employees how to do their jobs safely in order to set the stage for optimal productivity.
- Happier Employees - Providing a safe, healthy and stress-free workplace will result in positive employee attitudes, fewer days off due to illness or stress, and a stronger commitment to the goals of the company. Safety at work is a major concern for employees. When employees feel safe at work, they are more likely to want to remain working for you, decreasing employee turnover.
- Better Qualified Employees - When people decide where to work, businesses that are known for their commitment to safety in the workplace are likely to be more attractive options.
- Saving Money - Fewer injuries lead to fewer costs. Happy employees lead to decreased turnover and training costs. Fewer incidents lead to a lower chance of lawsuits, fines or penalties from labor boards. You get the picture. The costs of conducting a risk assessment and investing in changes to the workplace are minimal when compared to the costs of not doing these.
- Positive Image - Avoiding negative publicity is good for your public image, but it also increases opportunity for your company. When you are seen as committed to safety, other businesses will want to be associated with your brand.