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Working in a group

Group work is the best way to assess how vulnerable you are to risks.

Get a small group of people together from all areas of your business, including those with expertise in the work areas you’re looking at. Look at one category at a time and spend about 30 minutes on each. Get everyone to read the description of the hazard. Ask them to think about it from a personal point of view, and to consider questions such as:

  • Has this problem or something similar happened here or elsewhere?
  • Have accidents or near misses happened here or elsewhere?
  • In what kind of situations could a minor accident or problem lead to serious consequences?
  • Have symptoms of the problem happened in the past, even though an accident hasn’t actually taken place?
  • Have accidents been avoided simply because employees have learned to deal with work processes or equipment that aren’t up to scratch?
  • Have we discussed this problem or hazard in the past?
  • Could planned changes in our activities or work environment introduce new hazards?

After reading the description, get the group to discuss the ideas they’ve come up with. Next, place each hazard into one of three categories:

  • no risk – the risk is so small that it has no significance for you, or the problem isn’t related to your business or sector
  • risk under control – the issue is significant but is under control at the moment, for example, by putting in place a safe system of work
  • action needed – the risk is significant and needs either a closer examination or immediate control measures.

You should also look at risks that aren’t under your direct control, such as new laws or taxation rules, and keep up to date with any changes

Use the Your notes sheets to record your decisions and comments. And use
Your risk map
to record all the areas where you need to take action.

See also Dealing with Risk


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