noviembre 13, 2020

Attention to risk assessment, job planning and change management

Stop for a moment. What risks can a future work task bring? Did you consider any variables? Risk assessment is a cornerstone of occupational safety and is of great importance for a safe working environment. Negligence can endanger another person, so no one should take unnecessary risks at the expense of their own or another person’s safety. You make the choice and can ensure a safe working environment. But who is ultimately responsible for your choices?


Taking care of the safety and well-being of employees is the most important task of every supervisor. This is obliged by legislation, partners and the risks in the workplace. However, you recognize a good supervisor by the fact that the promotion and monitoring of occupational safety starts with true caring, not obligations. This is a mindset with safety at the center.

This is how everyone should work on the site. Taking care of occupational safety must be based on the desire to safeguard both one’s own safety and that of one’s co-worker. Although the supervisor ultimately bears the responsibility, each employee makes the choice independently and assesses the risks when starting the job, as the supervisor is not constantly supervising the activities. Therefore, confidence in employees’ own ability to identify last-minute risks is high.


Anticipate potential risks

When starting to consider occupational safety in your own working environment, it is important to pay attention to the following point; all accidents can be prevented with good risk assessment and planning.

In connection with risk assessment and planning, it is good to take a look at the past as well; “Have there been any accidents related to a similar work task before? If so, what was the cause?”. The purpose is not to find someone to blame, but to draw attention to the indirect factors related to the cause of the incident, as well as the accident itself.

Proactive safety work is of great importance. In practice, this means a variety of measures aimed at raising awareness of safety, encouraging the observation of the environment and focusing on identifying risks from a variety of perspectives, before starting work. In all work tasks, risk assessment before starting a work task plays a key role.

Particular attention must be paid to work planning and the management of possible changes. The human factor plays a major role in this activity. When assessing risks, it is humane to assume that things are going well, as in more than 90% of the cases. However, it must be remembered that risk assessment cannot be used to rely on luck, because unfortunately this is not always the way it goes.

If an accident occurs, several things have gone wrong even before the immediate action that led to the accident, such as job planning, equipment selection, or change management. Any unexpected changes must be considered in the risk assessment. Pessimists are excellent at risk assessment. It must be assumed that not everything will go as well as it usually does. This allows a realistic assessment of the risk of an accident.


Continuous risk assessment is the best thing we can do for employees’ safety

It is the responsibility of the foreman to be thoroughly familiar with the company’s occupational safety and health guidelines, as well as the laws and regulations that apply to the work of his or her team. The foreman really needs to be aware of the level of safety in the workplace. In the event of an accident, it is too late to find out. The responsible person must be aware of the responsibilities of the employer, oneself, and the employees.

When assessing risks, the probability and consequence of danger are classified, and measures are considered to reduce the risk. Can the risk issue be removed or replaced? Or can the risk be substantially reduced by other measures? The risk is then reassessed. Is the measure sufficient? Can the measure pose new safety risks? The cycle is complete, and well describes the principle of occupational safety and health. Continuous risk assessment is the best thing we can do for employees’ safety.

By supporting and encouraging its employees to develop safety thinking, the employer has succeeded in giving its employees the courage to intervene in unsafe conditions or working practices. This also means improving work efficiency and inevitably the quality of work, as well as the commitment of staff to the company. In this way, the employee can carry out his or her own work with the best possible result, which means that both individuals and the entire company are satisfied on a larger scale. In this case, we can really talk about the fact that the staff is the greatest resource of the company. Occupational safety is caring.


Iiris Paavisto

Safety manager

Quant Finland


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