Whether you’re working in physically demanding industries like construction, manufacturing, and healthcare or office jobs like marketing, business, and tech, safety risks are unavoidable without proper control measures in place.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were an estimated 2.8 million workplace injuries and illnesses reported in 2019 alone. And since the spread of Covid-19 all over the world, this number has only increased. Although these estimates are frightening to think about, they also highlight the importance of proper risk assessment and workplace safety training.
Although risk assessment may seem like a straightforward concept, not all employees have the necessary skills needed to apply theories to their daily practice. This is why proper risk assessment training is needed. In this article, we’ll talk about what risk assessment means, why it is implemented by companies, some examples of risk assessments, the importance of risk assessment training, and learning tools and methods you can use to conduct proper training for your employees.
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What is risk assessment?
Risk assessment is a structured management process that involves identifying potential hazards, evaluating risks, and implementing control measures to remove or reduce associated risks. This assessment is a legal requirement for employers and is usually carried out in the workplace before new processes or activities are set in motion to ensure the health and safety of employees, and even customers.
To give you an example, in most companies, fire extinguishers and elevators are regularly maintained to prevent them from malfunctioning when they need to be used. Their wear and tear are potential safety risks so to control this and prevent unwanted damage and loss, they are kept in top condition.
The goal of risk assessments will vary across different industries but overall, it aims to help companies prepare for possible risks and plan out effective ways to counter them.
What are some examples of risk assessment?
Here are a few examples of risk assessments implemented across different industries.
Fire Risk Assessment
This is a required assessment in all workplaces to ensure that companies can avoid potential fire risks or carry out the proper procedures in the event of a fire emergency.
Construction Risk Assessment
Construction sites use this necessary risk assessment to help management teams identify possible workplace hazards, take corrective action, solve safety issues and safety hazards, and comply with safety policies.
Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment
This type of risk assessment is used by management to find out hazardous health and safety risks associated with a specific job and environment. Some of the hazards that can be identified through this assessment include chemical hazards, environmental hazards, and biological hazards like the Covid-19 virus.
Manual Handling Risk Assessment
This is a type of risk assessment conducted in workplaces like factories and construction sites where employees might be at risk of injury or illness from the lifting and moving of heavy loads.
Fall Risk Assessment
This assessment is conducted by healthcare professionals to evaluate whether a patient has a low, moderate, or high risk of falling. Through this, they can implement strategies and procure resources to help reduce the chances of falling and injury.
Why is risk assessment training important?
If you’re an employer, it is a legal requirement to provide a risk assessment of your workplace. Without proper training, you or your management team might not be able to properly assess potential risks and set up the necessary measures needed to prevent illness or injury to your employees.
It can also be quite costly for businesses if they fail to comply with standard safety regulations, like OSHA standards. Not only could they lose financial resources through paying fines and penalties, but they could also lose valuable time needed for recruitment, training, and production.
With proper risk assessment training, employers can understand what risk assessment concepts are, job hazard analysis, work-related injuries, the benefits of comprehensive safety assessments, how and when to perform them, and how they can comply with safety policies in their area. Training instills confidence in management teams that they can carry out their own risk assessments for employee safety and well-being of all of their employees and avoid unsafe exposures and workplace violence.
After completing their training, employers can also ensure that their risk assessment is suited to the nature of their work operations and they can provide safety regulators with a detailed and step-by-step procedure on how they reduce hazards and mitigate risks in the workplace.
What are some methods to deliver risk assessment training?
If you’re looking for a training method that’s easy to access and low-cost, you can try checking out online learning platforms where you can discover a variety of risk assessment training courses. Some of these online courses like the Introduction to Risk Management course by Coursera or Alison’s Hazard Recognition and Risk Assessment course are even available for free.
There are some companies that provide you with face-to-face risk assessment training at no additional cost. But with risk assessment’s more technical concepts, this kind of training may not be enough to provide you with proper knowledge retention.
On the other hand, microlearning is a more flexible training method that you can implement together with either face-to-face learning or online courses. Because the bite-sized lessons are delivered in short but regular intervals, information is easier to digest and retained better in long-term memory.
EdApp is a mobile-first microlearning platform that you can use for a more dynamic learning experience that suits your risk assessment training requirements. Through the course library, you’ll have access to editable courses like Fatigue Risk Management and Safety in the Workplace.
You can also try out their powerful authoring tool to tailor courses to your training needs. With gamification elements that feel like smartphone games, embedded videos, and interactive gestures, learners become more engaged in the lessons. Through the Rapid Refresh feature, you can schedule timed quizzes directly to their mobile devices to reinforce key risk assessment concepts. By allowing your teams to perform training on their mobile devices, you give them more flexibility and learning becomes something to look forward to.
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