OSHAD-SF includes a detailed technical guideline for the process of risk management, however for the purposes of this article, we will summarise the process. Firstly the person conducting the risk assessment should be trained and competent to do so. In reality this means that the person should have an in-depth understanding of the industry and processes that they are assessing (or a supporting industry expert) as well as an awareness of international best practice and specific OSH qualifications. Secondly, risk assessments should always be conducted in consultation with all stakeholders: workers, supervisors, management, health and safety representatives and so on. This will enable a clear understanding of the hazards involved and how the task is undertaken.Risk assessment should be an ongoing process and should be undertaken at various times, such as when planning or making a change to work procedures, when introducing new plant, equipment, materials or substances into the workplace, after any OSH incident (including near misses), when introducing new workers and so on. A regular schedule of risk assessments should be planned for all workplace activities and reviewed on an ongoing basis. Risk assessments are a fundamental tool for identifying and controlling risks in the workplace. A risk assessment is a careful examination of what, in the workplace, could cause harm to people, so that the entity can weigh up whether it has taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm and/or protect the environment.
Five steps of risk assessment The OSHAD-SF divides the risk assessment process systematically into five steps:
Risk Evaluation Matrix
OSHAD-SF states that in order to decide on control measures required, the likelihood of an incident must be evaluated against the probable severity. This will enable a risk rating to be applied which then informs what control measures must be implemented.
First we must understand the potential consequences of an incident (Severity) according to the following table:
Secondly, we must assess the likelihood of such an incident occurring, as follows:
Armed with this information we can now map severity against likelihood in order to establish what level of mitigation must be considered:
Hierarchy of controls
Having established the required level of mitigation based on OSHAD-SF requirements, control measures must be implemented according to the following hierarchy of controls in order to reduce the risk to ALARP (as low as reasonably practical) levels.
OSHAD-SF requirement emphasises that ongoing review is essential to ensure that the management plan remains relevant and fit for purpose. Factors that may affect the likelihood and consequences of an outcome may change, as may the factors that affect the suitability or cost of the mitigation options. It is therefore necessary to repeat the risk management cycle regularly.
Risk assessments are a mandatory requirement under the OSHAD System Framework and must be recorded and reported regularly. For more information and guidance, refer to OSHAD-SF Technical Guideline – Process of Risk Management Version 2.01 which can be found at www.oshad.ae