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The first step in the risk management process is to identify hazards which could injure or harm anyone. A good hazard identification process is the key to risk management.

Identify hazards and identify the controls before the work commences. It may not be possible to control them all before work starts – so identify the controls before work starts, and implement them when required.

For example, consider these hazards:

·        an edge where a person could fall

·        a falling object

·        a live power line

·        hazardous material.

Consider all relevant matters including:

·        nature of the scaffolding work

·        the range of possible methods of carrying out the work.

Monitor known hazards and identify any new hazards that arise to make sure controls are working.

Hazard identification methods

Identify hazards by:

·        physical inspections:

o   inspect the worksite and assess where someone could get injured by scaffolding activities

o   consider hazards that may be created by other site users, or if the scaffolding activities could create hazards for others (eg traffic management)

·        safe work method: identify the hazards involved in each task. Some workplaces use job safety analysis (JSA) or task analysis (TA) to do this

·        engaging with workers

·        process analysis: identify hazards at each stage of the work plan

·        guidance and standards consideration

·        hazard and operability analysis (HAZOP)

·        accident investigation analysis – identify hazards and causes of harm from investigations involving similar types of work.

Carry out a risk assessment when:

·        it is uncertain whether a hazard may cause injury or illness

·        a work activity involves different hazards, and the workers involved don’t know how those hazards interact to produce new or greater risks

·        workplace changes may impact on the effectiveness of controls

·        new or different risks are associated with a change in work systems or work location.

A risk assessment will help to:

·        identify which workers or others are at risk

·        determine what sources and processes are causing that risk

·        determine the severity of the risk

·        identify if and what kind of controls should be implemented

·        check the effectiveness of existing controls.

A safe system of work should include:

·        engaging workers

·        assigning responsibilities

·        a safe work method statement

·        consulting a competent person regarding any temporary works design

·        identifying any health and safety hazards and risks

·        carrying out a risk assessment

·        describing how you will control any identified risks

·        describing how controls will be implemented, monitored and reviewed

·        communication systems

·        accident investigation and reporting methods

·        emergency procedures.

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