Risk refers to the probability of harm befalling on an individual. Risk assessment refers to the identification of things or situations that can cause harm to individuals or structures to employ suitable preventive measures and precautions (Health and Safety Executive).
This is because everyone has a right to protection from all possible dangers. Incidences at workplace or home can lead to loss of lives, destruction of tangible assets, increase insurance expenses, and in the end, lead to a financial loss where businesses are concerned. Risk assessment consists of five steps (Health and Safety Executive).
The first step involves identifying hazards. A hazard refers to anything that can cause injury and includes such things as chemicals, cabinets, electricity, and so on. Identifying hazards involves walking around a workstation to see what can cause harm, inquiring from staff members, contacting trade organizations, and checking instructions from manufacturers.
The second step involves coming up with a list of those people who are at risk of hazards identified in step one. Such a list would consist of staff members, members of public as well as suppliers (Health and Safety Executive).
The thirds step, evaluation of risks, involves looking at the origin and nature of risks and how to eliminate or control such risks. The fourth step involves documenting and executing findings from previous steps as well as sharing with all stakeholders (Health and Safety Executive).
Execution involves such things like labeling, erecting warning signs, and carrying out emergency drills. The last step involves a constant review of the whole process to assess progress or lack of progress to take necessary steps. Safety planning involves coming up with a method of avoiding risky situations or things (Health and Safety Executive).
Generally, there are various areas considered risky both at home, school, and in workstations. These places include entrances and exits, windows, floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, cribs, storage units, bathrooms, and toys. Rungs and entrance slopes should have strong handrails with proper levels for all people to use. Doors should be unlocked to ease access to and from the building. Also, hallways should be lit properly and be clear of any obstacles to make it easy to get to an exit door in case of emergency (Hendricks).
It is tempting to look outside through the windows, especially in floors beyond the ground. Several cases of people falling several floors down are common, and the causes range from accident to premeditated occurrences like suicide. As such, it is advisable to design barriers on windows to prevent such incidences. Grills are quite suitable as barriers through the use of limited window opening also assists in preventing people from falling through windows. Also, it is advisable to clear any cords that may cause strangulation (Hendricks).
Depending on the type and texture of a floor, it is important to ensure that floors are free from any objects that may lead to incidences like tripping over. Where floors are slippery, those in charge should erect visible warning signs so that users apply necessary precautions (Hendricks).
In case carpets are in use on some floors, those concerned should ensure that all edges are flat to avoid obstructions. Those responsible should maintain tiled floors to make sure that replacement or fixing of tiles takes place promptly. Lastly, floors should be free of any protruding objects like nails (Hendricks).
Constant maintenance of walls is inevitable. Such items like electrical exits, wall coverings, notice boards, and any wall hanging need be inspected. Those in charge should cover every electrical exit and especially that which is not in use to avoid incidences of electrical shock. Wall hangings should be light in weight while notice boards should be firmly fastened to walls. Those charged with operating notice boards should ensure that materials used for sticking notices are harmless (Hendricks).
Ceilings with removable tiles need constant checking to ensure that all tiles are safely in place. Also, it is important to check for leaks from the roofs because such leaks cause damage to ceilings and with time, tiles that make up a ceiling may fall on people using a particular house.
It is advisable to place smoke gadgets in the ceiling, and this calls for regular testing of such devices to ensure that they assist those in the house in case of urgency. Any item hanging from the ceiling should be quite light to avoid surging the ceiling board or loosening of tiles making up the ceiling (Hendricks).
Furniture with projecting screws is a health hazard, and caretakers should ensure that such projecting nails or screws are cleared. Also, it is advisable to have rounded furniture instead of sharp-edged furniture. It is important to secure shelves, chests, and drawers on the walls to prevent them from falling and causing harm to people around or in the house or workstation (Hendricks).
Health and Safety Executive. Risk Assessment. Web.
Hendricks, Charllote. How Safe Is Your Classroom? Identifying Hazards Before Accidents Happen. Web.