Step 4 – Final Risk Rating

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Final Risk Rating

Now that you have decided what control measures you will implement to reduce the hazard you need to do another risk analysis to demonstrate how the control measures have made the activity safer.

You need to consider the same two factors as before, the likelihood of an accident happening and the severity of the consequences. A successful risk assessment will show that the control measures have reduced either one or two of these rating factors.

Example
It is more likely that the likelihood of an incident occurring will reduce and that the severity will stay the same, however this is entirely dependent on the risk you are analysing – for example – a handrail will reduce the likelihood of a worker falling from a roof, but it wont reduce the severity of what happens if this fails and they hit the ground.Likewise on its own, crash mats at ground level will not reduce the likelihood of a worker falling from a roof, but will reduce the severity of the fall, by stopping the working from impacting the ground.

Worked Example
With no safety measures in place the initial risk rating could be assessed as:

Rating Definition
Likelihood 5 It is inevitable that an incident would result, with an immediate danger to health and safety of the public, staff or property and resources.

For example there may be a 1 in 100 chance of the hazardous event happening.

Severity 4 Death, major injury or illness causing long term disability to one person, or more than one person suffering work time loss injuries and illness causing short term disability OR

Damage to equipment with enough severity to result in operations being temporarily halted, where repairs to, or replacement of equipment is required OR

Medium term impact to the environment with a recovery time of between 1 and 12 months

Initial Risk Rating 20 Stop activity and make immediate improvements

Now if we implement control measures of installing a handrail round the platform and a staircase to get up to it then we could reassess the hazard as:

Rating Definition Explanation
Likelihood 2 An incident will require a combination of factors, multiple failures of safety and/or management systems but otherwise should not occur

For example, there may be a 1 in 100,000 chance of the hazardous event happening.

It’s now unlikely that an accident could happen because we’ve put a physical barrier in place to stop it
Severity 4 Death, major injury or illness causing long term disability to one person, or more than one person suffering work time loss injuries and illness causing short term disability OR

Damage to equipment with enough severity to result in operations being temporarily halted, where repairs to, or replacement of equipment is required OR

Medium term impact to the environment with a recovery time of between 1 and 12 months

Is still 4 because if an accident did happen it’d still have serious consequences
Initial Risk Rating 8 Look to improve at next review

Note that installing handrails hasn’t decreased the severity of a potential accident. If someone did fall they would still be hurt in the same way as they would before we added in the control measures.

If we needed to also reduce the severity of the risk then we could add in additional control measures like placing emergency crash mats around the platform when work was in progress. This would mean that if someone fell, the consequences would be much less than if they hit the solid floor.

In this case, with the combined control measures of a handrail and a set of crash mats, the hazard could be assessed as:

Rating Definition Explanation
Likelihood 2 An incident will require a combination of factors, multiple failures of safety and/or management systems but otherwise should not occur

For example, there may be a 1 in 100,000 chance of the hazardous event happening.

It’s now unlikely that an accident could happen because we’ve put a physical barrier in place to stop it
Severity 2 First aid treatment (on premises), reversible illness with no work time loss OR

Aesthetic damage only with no impact on use or operation of equipment OR

Minimal impact to the environment with a recovery time of one day

The crash mats mean that any potential injury from falling would probably only be minor
Initial Risk Rating 4 No further action, but ensure controls are maintained

Additional things to consider

Plan for the unexpected – if your controls don’t work and there is an accident, what are your emergency arrangements?

Review Date

Risk assessments need to be regularly reviewed to ensure that they are still relevant and are in line with industry best practice.

A risk assessment should be reviewed if there is a change – this could be a change to a system, process, location, personnel or over a period of time.

At the very least risk assessments at least every 12 months, however if you are writing risk assessments for a specific short term project then the review date is less relevant.

Instead the risk assessment should be reviewed if the risk assessment is reused for another project to ensure that the hazards and risk ratings are site specific and that the control measures are properly implemented.

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