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May 25, 2017
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Frédéric St-Germain

Risk analysis: indispensable for the safety of your employees

According to the International Labor Organization, more than 6,300 people in the world die every day due to accidents at the work place or due to occupational diseases – this accounts for more than 2.3 million deaths each year. Thus, every 15 seconds, 153 workers are victims of occupational accidents.

Under these circumstances, it is essential for the employer to implement concrete measures in order to prevent work-related accidents and occupational diseases. Risk analysis, that is part of the complete risk management process, takes into account legal, safety, as well as human aspects.

To summarize in a few words, risk analysis is a process that includes:

  • Identification of hazards
  • Analysis and evaluation of risks associated with a particular hazard; and
  • Determination of the appropriate measures to eliminate, control or correct these risks.

How do we analyze a risk?

On a pragmatic level, risk analysis consists of a detailed evaluation of your work place with an aim to identify, among others, elements, situations and processes that are liable to cause harm, especially to people. Once this step is completed, it is necessary to evaluate the probability and the severity of risks, and then determine the measures that should be adopted to prevent further harm. Once these measures are identified, they should be implemented, but it is also important to ensure the long-term viability of these measures.

Risk analysis is conducted by setting up analysis tools for all types of risks associated with:

  • Machines;
  • Ergonomics;
  • Tasks;
  • Environment; or
  • Processes

Many people mistakenly think that risk analysis is simply the identification of hazardous events. On the contrary, it is important to determine a certain number of additional elements such as the severity of damage, the frequency and the duration of exposure, the probability of occurrence of a dangerous phenomenon and the possibility of avoiding harm.

The identification of hazardous events ensures compliance with laws, current regulations and also helps to meet the ISO 12100, CAN/CSA-ISO 31000, CSA-Z1002 standards.

In addition, the results of the decomposition of risk make it possible to meet the following four objectives:

  1. Describe the risk as a chronological sequence of elements.
  2. Provide lines of research for safety measures to reduce the risk.
  3. Arrange the different potential safety measures in an order of priority.
  4. Establish a risk rating system.

 

risk analysis software

Tools for risk analysis

Risk index tool facilitates the calculation of the risk index that in turn helps to ascertain the importance of the degree of risks and also enables the prioritization of risks. The different indicators and risk estimates can be calculated in a manner that is specific to the analysis or can be drawn up in a general manner for each organization.

Your organization can choose to create its own risk index tool or can use the tools that are already available.

You can consult the ISO 12100 standard to discover their internationally recognized as analysis estimation system.

 

Benefits

There are many benefits to performing risk analysis in your organization. Among other things, you will be able to:

  • Prioritize actions that contribute to reducing risk in the most profitable areas;
  • Comply with standards and regulations;
  • Limit the exposure of workers to hazardous events;
  • Improve the health and safety of employees by preventing accidents through a planned and structured approach.

It is thus evident that both the employer and the employees benefit from the implementation of risk analysis within the organization. Very often, risk analysis is performed, but reveals shortcomings. In other cases, corrective measures are not implemented and are forgotten. Rigorous follow-up ensure the effective implementation of risk reduction measures and thus the completion of the entire risk analysis process.

 

Why computerize risk analysis?

It is important to note that the use of risk analysis grid template in paper format or a simple Word or Excel file has limitations such as silo work, duplication of documents, the risk of using a non-approved tool and the risk of error.

Using a software for risk analysis management not only integrates it into the entire management process but also:

  • Standardizes analysis and its content;
  • Documents the strategy and the actions taken;
  • Facilitates decision making;
  • Filters and classifies data; and
  • Analyses cross-referenced data.

 

In conclusion, risk analysis is a vital step in the complete employee health and safety management process. It will not only allow you to identify risks, but will be especially useful in reducing them and will contribute to the creation of a safe working environment!