Risk management is the identification, evaluation and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor and control the probability or impact of unfortunate events.
Managing risk at your Affiliate involves thinking about what might cause harm to your workers, volunteers or customers. After determining what the risks are, consider whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm from occurring. The following steps will help guide you through the process of managing risk:
Identify the possible hazards
Begin by identifying hazards in your workplace. A hazard is anything that may cause harm, such as chemicals, working on ladders, power tools, an object in the walkway or even a person. Identifying all the potential hazards is very important.
Analyze and evaluate the hazard
After identifying the potential hazards in your workplace, analyze and evaluate those hazards and the risk they pose.
For each hazard, you need to be clear about the group of people who might be harmed. This will help you identify the best way of controlling the hazard. Keep in mind staff, volunteers and customers have access to different areas, along with different requirements set by OSHA.
Next, evaluate the hazard by determining the level of risk that it poses. Rate each risk as high, medium or low, along with the likelihood of it occurring. Try answering the following questions to help evaluate the risk, then use the table to determine the level of risk.
- How frequent is the exposure to this hazard?
- How long is someone typically exposed?
- What kind of injury or illness could be suffered, and how severe would it most likely be?
- How many people are exposed to the hazard?
Be sure to record the finding of your risk assessment, as these will be the primary tools you will rely on to treat and monitor the hazards. The better documentation and records that you keep, the easier this process becomes for the future.
Treat and monitor the hazard
Now that you have identified and ranked the potential hazards at your Affiliate, work down the ranking of severity. When deciding on the best method of reducing the hazard, there is a recommended order called the hierarchy of control. Keep in mind that not always is the best option the easiest, that is why it is important the follow the chart. They are listed in the order of effectiveness, so you should always consider all methods as they work best in combination with one another.
Elimination or substitution is the removal or replacement or the material or process with one that is less hazardous. Asking yourself, can I find a safer way to perform this task? Or, can I use something less harmful?
Engineering Controls is the implementation of equipment to prevent workers from being exposed to a hazard, such as a guard rail.
Administrative Controls involve identifying and implementing safe procedures so that workers can perform their job duties safely.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is requiring workers to wear the proper protective gear that will reduce the change of injury.
This is a process that should be completed and reviewed regularly to ensure they are accurate and help mitigate new potential hazards. The process should also be reviewed whenever you introduce new equipment, materials or work process.