Why is it important to carry out a Risk Assessment and prepare a Safety Statement?

The main aim is to make sure that no one gets hurt or becomes ill. Accidents and ill health can ruin lives, and can also affect business if output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase, or if you have to go to court. Therefore, carrying out risk assessments, preparing and implementing a safety statement and keeping both up to date will not in themselves prevent accidents and ill health but they will play a crucial part in reducing their likelihood.

Employers, managers and supervisors should all ensure that workplace practices reflect the risk assessments and safety statement. Behaviour, the way in which everyone works, must reflect the safe working practices laid down in these documents. Supervisory checks and audits should be carried out to determine how well the aims set down are being achieved. Corrective action should be taken when required. Additionally, if a workplace is provided for use by others, the safety statement must also set out the safe work practices that are relevant to them.

Hence, it is important to carry out a Risk Assessment and prepare a Safety Statement for:

1. Financial reasons:
There is considerable evidence, borne out by companies’ practical experiences, that effective safety and health management in the workplace contributes to business success. Accidents and ill-health inflict significant costs, often hidden and underestimated.

2. Legal reasons:
Carrying out a risk assessment, preparing a safety statement and implementing what you have written down are not only central to any safety and health management system, they are required by law. Health and Safety Authority inspectors visiting workplaces will want to know how employers are managing safety and health. If they investigate an accident, they will scrutinise the risk assessment and safety statement, and the procedures and work practices in use. It should be ensured that these stand up to examination. If the inspector finds that one of these is inadequate, he or she can ask the employer to revise it. Employers can be prosecuted if they do not have a safety statement.

3. Moral and ethical reasons:
The process of carrying out a risk assessment, preparing a safety statement and implementing what you have written down will help employers prevent injuries and ill-health at work.  Employers are ethically bound to do all they can to ensure that their employees do not suffer illness, a serious accident or death.

Read more @ http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Managing_Health_and_Safety/Safety_Statement_and_Risk_Assessment/

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