Accidents are never supposed to happen. However, due to the fallibility of human nature, they will inevitably happen. Therefore risk assessment is a vital part and parcel of everyday life. For a start, risk assessment is the systematic process of ascertaining the potential hazards that may arise in a project, activity, or other undertakings.
The whole aim of risk assessment is to predict the potential hazards that might arise as well as the possible ways and means of forestalling or mitigating them. We have carried out some research in the area. We are going to relay the findings of those researches in the subsequent discussions.
5 STEPS TO RISK ASSESSMENT
In the first segment of the research findings, we are going to lay bare the major steps to take to effect the risk assessment.
Step I: Identify the Potential Hazards
First, start by identifying the potentials hazards that might arise in the chosen locality. The potential hazards differ from locality to locality, employer to employer, and workstation to workstation. However, notwithstanding these differences, the potential hazards display similar characteristics. The following are the major categories under which these hazards fall:
- Physical – These hazards are caused by real objects such as falling debris, dust particles, undesirable postures, and heavy objects. They harm the body and its organs.
- Mental/Psychological – As the name suggests, this category of risks harm the mind rather than the body. They are brought about by such issues as long working hours, excess workloads, intense pressure, and limited rest duration.
- Biological – Biological hazards are those that are caused by biological means. They include diseases, infections, molds, mildew, and other natural contaminants.
- Chemical – Lastly, the chemical risks mainly arise due to the exposure to harmful chemicals such as aerosols, cleaning fluids, asbestos, and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).
Step II: Determine the likely Victims
It is not enough to point out potential hazards. You have to go a step deeper and determine the likely victims. This will also help to mitigate the consequences of these risks when they occur. This step is also necessary to prepare the affected persons psychologically for any impending problems. The following persons are more vulnerable to risks in any typical environment:
- Loaders – These are people who load and off-load cargo to and from vehicles, containers, and other surfaces. They are more vulnerable to physical harms that mainly arise while carrying heavy objects.
- Night-shift Workers – Those who work at night are more vulnerable to the risks of deprived sleep, strained relationships, and long working hours.
- Chemicals – As stated, certain chemicals can inflict poisoning and other chemical-based infections. Laboratory workers, chemists, biologists, and chemical factory workers are most at risk of this hazard.
- Masons and Builders – Just like the loaders, the masons and builders are also at risk of falling debris and other physical objects.
- Lifeguards – Lastly, the lifeguards, while their search and rescue missions, may also be susceptible to drowning.
Step III: Assess the Causation of the Risks
Now you have to get deeper and assess the causation of the risks. Causation simply refers to how the risks identified above may likely cause the associated harms. This will also go a long way in determining what course of action to take to reduce the likelihood of these risks arising. This again makes it possible to prepare the potential victims psychologically in preparation for any impending dangers.
Step IV: Suggest the Possible Intervention Mechanisms
Now suggest the possible intervention mechanism for each risk identified. This simply entails the identification of the various strategies, solutions, and other means and ways of solving the issues mentioned above. The intervention mechanism chosen has to be as nearly relevant to the specific problem as possible. This obviously is to prevent any unnecessary inconveniences.
Step V: Review and Update the Assessments
Lastly, the assessments have to be reviewed and updated from time to time. This review is necessary to:
- See to it that the intervention mechanisms are applied continually
- Identify any new working practices, work targets, or machinery and incorporate them as part and parcel the intervention mechanisms.
RISK ASSESSMENT EXAMPLES
To deal effectively with the risks identified and described above, appropriate examples to those effects have to be looked into. The following are some of the great examples that may solve the problems.
Health Risk Assessments
These are assessments that are geared towards identifying any impending health issues and how to deal with them effectively if and when they arise. They typically comprise a health questionnaire and are used to provide individuals with evaluations of their possible health risks as well as the overall quality of life. The common types of such assessments are the mental health risk assessment, human health risk assessment, student health risk assessment, and personal health risk assessment.
Suicide Risk Assessment
Certain circumstances may often necessitate suicides. The suicide risk assessments aim at foreseeing any imminent suicide risks and putting in place substantive mechanisms to forestall them from happening. Nowhere is this risk of suicide likely to happen than among the members of the military. This is mainly due to the trauma that accompanies military missions. The military suicide risk assessment aims at diminishing the likelihoods of such risks from happening among the members of the uniform.
Security Risk Assessments
From time to time, security breaches are often bound to occur. If and when such happen, the consequences may often be too much to bear by the affected persons. This is why it is absolutely necessary that the risks be assessed and planned for. The security risk assessment aims at doing just that. The personnel security risk assessment, free security risk assessment, information security risk assessment, and IT Security risk assessment fall under this category.
HIPAA Risk Assessment
Medical information is also prone to the risks of data breaches and unauthorized access. The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) aims at preventing this likelihood from arising. To leverage this legislation, several assessments will have to be carried out. These are the free HIPAA risk assessment, HIPAA IT security risk assessment, and the HIPAA security risk assessment, respectively.
Environmental Risk Assessment
The environment is a vital part and parcel of our lives. It should also not be left out at all while assessing and preparing for risks. The environmental risk assessment ascertains the possibility that the various human activities may cause harm to the environment. It describes the likely hazards and impacts as well as the various precautions that may be taken to mitigate them. They include preliminary environmental risk assessment and the environmental health risk assessment, among others.
Well, we are confident that you have found our discussions above insightful and informative. You are now better placed at getting to know just how to go about the whole situation. It is not enough to be informed of the subject matter. You certainly want to put into action the lessons you have learned. Therefore we now urge you to take the next step and implement the lessons you have learned above. All the best as you even contemplate taking the first step.