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Risk Assessment

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Neil Wyatt07/08/2016 18:54:12
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To minimise the risk to forum harmony, I suggest this hazardous topic relocates here.

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 07/08/2016 18:54:26

Mark C07/08/2016 19:07:33
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If peace and harmony is what you want - shut up shop! Or moderate every post (would quickly have the same effect).

Mark

Michael Gilligan07/08/2016 19:29:38
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For general 'Risk Management' [rather than specific Risk Assessment]; The best methodology I have ever seen was issued by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The authors gave me permission to share it ... So I will forward a copy to Neil [who may, or may not, choose to publish it here]

MichaelG.

________

Department for Work & Pensions

DWP Guide to the Assumption-based Risk Management Methodology

 

.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 07/08/2016 19:33:51

Neil Wyatt07/08/2016 21:06:43
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I am very happy to have left a quarter of a century of risk assessment and H&S behind me for the moment.

Believe me the joys of PUWER, competency ("But how do you assess if the person assessing me as competent is competent to do so?", Fire Risk Assessments and PAT testing only stay fresh for so long. Plus I had the joys of corporate risk assessment as well

Neil

SillyOldDuffer07/08/2016 21:09:08
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JS said "Back in the day we had no risk assessment, it was never heard of. We had experience and common sense."

Problem with "experience and common sense" is that it's down to the individual and many of us are daft. The awful truth is that lots of people got hurt in the good old days and that many "accidents" were avoidable.

HSE Statistics:

Between 1974 and 2015:

  • fatal injuries to employees have fallen by 86% (RIDDOR);
  • reported non-fatal injuries have fallen by 77% (to 2011/12) (RIDDOR);

And

Figure 1: Earliest and latest data on injuries and ill health 1974

It may be physically safer today but what many people have to do at work is much more stressful than it was in times past. Lots of modern jobs can really do your head in. Perhaps everyone should have a lathe at home. I'm convinced mine is good for me!

Cheers,

Dave

Nicholas Farr07/08/2016 22:40:24
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Hi, at the place that I left ten years ago where I worked, I was one of many who had risk assessment training, from there we did risk assessments for all the regular jobs that came up. These were all filed so that they could be used in conjunction with an easy to use risk assessment form with double duplicates. There were many tick boxes plus comment and instruction boxes with start/stop times and date and included all the names of those working on the job and they worked well. The best part about the initial risk assessments was, that they were all done by up to six people working in pairs or individually and then compiled together and finally reviewed. Another good thing was that the risk assessment forms could not be filled out by anyone working on the job that was assessed. New jobs were always done by three or more people, which included at least one person who worked in whatever department the assessment was for and all assessments were reviewed on a regular basis. Accidents and near misses were very infrequent with this system in place, so I believe they are an a good thing when done in a realistic manner. Hot work permits and some processing permits were separate to risk assessments, but the risk assessment could state that these would be needed, so there were many hot work and processing permit methods also on file, There were also various lock-off procedures on file, which could be used on the risk assessment whenever needed.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 07/08/2016 22:55:32

bricky07/08/2016 23:40:39
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Hi,could the reason for the decline in deaths and injuries be anything to do with the decline in the main risk industries,ie building,mining,railways,engineering and fishing which through technology and various political decisions have been reduced significantly, so I don't think that one can base statistics of deaths and injuries without the reduced employment in the afformentioned industries being taken into account.

Frank

Ady108/08/2016 00:42:52
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Between 1974 and 2015:

  • fatal injuries to employees have fallen by 86% (RIDDOR);
  • reported non-fatal injuries have fallen by 77% (to 2011/12) (RIDDOR);

-----------------------------

80% of industrial capacity in this country has been annihilated in that period so the statistics are kinda misleading.... entire industries, sometimes massive industries, have completely disappeared

Pick an industry that has the same outputs as we had back in the old days? Focusing on Construction for example may be more appropriate.

Ady108/08/2016 01:31:51
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The only daft safety area I can think of nowadays, off the top of my head, is cycling

How the government can encourage people to get onto a pushbike and risk life and limb on our modern roads really is beyond me

Political expediency?

Jon Gibbs08/08/2016 08:42:05
738 forum posts

I'm not advocating that our workplaces should be risky but there's a general observation that society has become much more risk averse over recent years. Kids being driven to school rather than walking themselves etc etc.

Often as not because people don't really understand risk, uncertainty and small probabilities, risk avoidance is out of all proportion of the dangers.

Heinz Wolff, a brilliant guy of the Great Egg Race fame, is really interesting on the subject of Risk...

**LINK**

In it he makes the point that we all need some risk in our lives and that in some ways safer and safer cars and workplaces makes us get our fixes in different ways.

I remember him saying that the way we cosset the old and protect them from risk in our society is pretty dumb since they have the least to lose of any of us!

Jon

Ady108/08/2016 10:03:45
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It's the Lawyers and increased wealth

Lawyers make things complicated so they can make a dollar out of it. Parliament is stuffed with 'em so it's a nice scratch my back posting for the legal profession

The other side of the coin is the cash. Once society gets too rich all that silly stuff, picky rules and regulations, start appearing, and the government gets bigger as it fills up with unemployment reduction jobs

The richer society gets... the more lawyers appear and legal complications increase

The EU was a top tier gravy train in this respect, until it got canned by us

Neil Wyatt08/08/2016 10:18:18
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The most dangerous sector to work in by far is agriculture.

I never came across anyone under thirty who thought a risk assessment was a waste of time, but then things like working at height with a chainsaw or self-propelled power scythes on a slope make milling machines look like a walk in the park.

Neil

Jon Gibbs08/08/2016 10:30:56
738 forum posts
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 08/08/2016 10:18:18:

I never came across anyone under thirty who thought a risk assessment was a waste of time

Cynicism with such things clearly comes with age and experience

Ady108/08/2016 10:36:56
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I would say that the fishing guys carry the greatest day to day risk, however there's not so many around nowadays in the UK

I'll always remember those wee fishing boats in the Bay of Biscay during a force 8+ blow., we had to heave to and face into the swell or it was going to smash our cargo deck up

Up and down in mountainous seas 24/7 as they worked away. sleeping must have been almost impossible

SillyOldDuffer08/08/2016 10:42:24
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Posted by bricky on 07/08/2016 23:40:39

Hi,could the reason for the decline in deaths and injuries be anything to do with the decline in the main risk industries,ie building,mining,railways,engineering and fishing which through technology and various political decisions have been reduced significantly, so I don't think that one can base statistics of deaths and injuries without the reduced employment in the afformentioned industries being taken into account.

Frank

Posted by Ady1 on 08/08/2016 00:42:52:

Between 1974 and 2015:

  • fatal injuries to employees have fallen by 86% (RIDDOR);
  • reported non-fatal injuries have fallen by 77% (to 2011/12) (RIDDOR);

-----------------------------

80% of industrial capacity in this country has been annihilated in that period so the statistics are kinda misleading.... entire industries, sometimes massive industries, have completely disappeared

Pick an industry that has the same outputs as we had back in the old days? Focusing on Construction for example may be more appropriate.

Well done both of you! I was careful not to claim that Risk Assessments were responsible for the improvement in the figures but, even so, it was certainly implied. That was naughty of me.

I always prefer evidence to opinion but the lesson here is that you have to be critical of the evidence as well. Spotting the flaws in statistics can be difficult because unrelated figures may be linked by something else. I remember a statistic that convincingly correlated the rise of violent crime in the 1950s to sales of washing machines. The explanation that thugs with clean underware don't mind ending up in hospital is unlikely to be true.

In 1974 we see that the fatality rate was 2.9 per 100,000 employees. This compares with 0.48 per 100,000 in 2014/15. I suggest at least three conclusions are possible:

  • Some dangerous industries have shrunk or disappeared (Mining and Fishing)
  • Better HSE and risk awareness made the improvement
  • Both of the above

In my professional life I met two types of HSE person. The most annoying by far was the amateur with a clipboard whinging about tannin stains in the tearoom. I was much more impressed with qualified HSE professionals who talked simple sense about managing risk. The amateurs starting point was "don't do it", whereas the professionals wanted to get the job done provided that the risk that someone could get hurt was thought through. Usually their advice was sensible and straightforward to implement.

Cheers,

Dave

Martin Kyte08/08/2016 10:54:46
1515 forum posts
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My definitions.

Risk Management: Look before you leap.

Risk assessment: Some kind of documentation to prove you have looked.

and then there are the insurers . . . . .

Martin

Ady108/08/2016 11:05:08
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An example of seagoing risk assessment from the BBC today


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-37007656

MW08/08/2016 11:15:30
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Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 07/08/2016 21:09:08:

HSE Statistics:

Between 1974 and 2015:

  • fatal injuries to employees have fallen by 86% (RIDDOR);
  • reported non-fatal injuries have fallen by 77% (to 2011/12) (RIDDOR);

To be fair most of the jobs people do now have changed, people are no longer exposed to the same risks as working in a steel mill or coal mine or factory line.

Sitting at a desk in an office is going to be much safer no matter which way you look at it,(unless maybe theres a psycho sitting next to you, or the office block was built on the rim of an active volcano) the physical activity is nil, and the more of it you do, the greater the chance you'll end up in an accident.

And telling someone "don't push that button etc..." they're basically going to do it at that point. I hate teachers who think they can "force" education into people, you can't make someone learn, they have to choose to learn, they aren't computers. So i find people learn about risks from mistakes. 

So before they start praising they can't actually show it's entirely down to policy. Its like the police cuts, crime is dropping and the officers being reduced and they use correlation as evidence their policy is working, wrong, it isn't proof, it doesn't justify the causes.

Piracy has declined since the 1700's and pollution has increased, somalia has little pollution and a high incidence of piracy, who would be willing to support a correlation there as proof that pirates are eco friendly?

Michael W

Edited By Michael Walters on 08/08/2016 11:26:52

MW08/08/2016 11:39:13
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 08/08/2016 10:18:18:

The most dangerous sector to work in by far is agriculture.

I never came across anyone under thirty who thought a risk assessment was a waste of time, but then things like working at height with a chainsaw or self-propelled power scythes on a slope make milling machines look like a walk in the park.

Neil

I have, he hates (silly) H&S (and ramblers), he says the most dangerous field to work on is a sloped one.. the risk of toppling the whole thing is nasty. The paperwork does fill out alot of his time, and i've never seen him without a stack of papers on a job.

Spraying nasty chemicals as well, some of them are supposed to be banned but under law they can use a stockpile for so long, however, some of them are so dangerous that they can't be thrown away as an enviromental hazard, so they keep them in this kind of legal dead zone, where they can't be thrown away, as they provision isn't there or costly but they can't be used either?

So theres a risk he'd admit needs policing, but one time his manager (i did occasional work with him) tried to make us wear shoe covers on a slippery floor, so i put them on, they didn't fit his shoes and his manager was absolutely insistant that he must wear the shoe covers, to the point he just threw them at him shouting "they dont effing fit! "

He dislikes the kind of farm managers who aren't really farm workers, the kind of managers who get onto a trainee manager post straight out of uni and don't have a clue how to run it. He used to work for a big company, til he got fed up and started working for an estate, where the land owners normally care for the people who work their land.

Michael W

Gordon W08/08/2016 11:55:34
2011 forum posts

Ady- does the fact that gales were forecast for the NW count as risk assessment ? Or just management- we have to have there by Wednesday ? Anyway I prefer natural selection, it used to work.

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