|Risk management, in the occupational health and safety context, refers to a systematic process by which management policies, procedures and practices are applied to identify the workplace hazards, assess the risks associated with those hazards, determine the appropriate control measures and monitor and review the risk management process for effectiveness in providing a safe and healthy workplace. Commonwealth OHS legislation requires employers to risk manage all reasonably foreseeable hazards arising from work. Risk management is a four step process whereby the employer is required to:
1. Identify - all hazards associated with a system of work.
A hazard is something that can or has the potential to cause injury or illness.
2. Assess - the level of risk posed by the hazard.
What is the likelihood that a person will be harmed and how severe would the consequences be?
3. Control - the risk.
Decide on appropriate control measures such as elimination and substitution using the hierarchy of controls. Note that the employer is required to take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health and safety at work of the employer’s employees. This may require consideration of a number of issues that influence the effectiveness and practicality of the risk control measures.
4. Review and monitor - the process.
Have the control measures eliminated or reduced the risks? Have the control measures introduced any new hazards?