Risk management is the management of risks within the workplace.
Risk assessments are vital to ensuring the safety of the workplace. They are to be conducted prior to beginning any activity that could result in injury, damage or harm to oneself, others, the environment, or to the building and equipment. Activities conducted in laboratories and workshops must have a risk assessment.
RSPhys has an extensive range of work activities that bring with them unique and complex hazards and hazardous environments.
Before any staff member or student can conduct a risk assessment, they must complete the ANU WHS Risk Management Training module. This is a mandatory requirement and can be found on the ANU Pulse Online Staff Training.
For all related Risk Assessment forms and templates and further information on risk management, please follow the link to the RSPhys WHS share point:
ANU's risk management procedure can be found here.
ANU's risk assessment templates can be found here (Appendix B).
5 steps to conducting a risk assessment
1. Identify the hazards
A hazard is something that has the potential to cause harm. the risk is what the likelihood is that this could occur.
Look around the area and identify what hazards are there. Now consider what additional hazards may be presented when conducting the activity.
2. Consider who might be harmed and how
Once the hazards have been identified, think about who or what could be harmed, and how. Members of the public? Other workers? Equipment? the Environment? These are all consderations that must be made.
3. Evaluate the risks and decide on control measures
After identifying the hazards and who / what could be harmed, consider how to ensure that that harm does not occur. This may involve removing the hazard altogether if possible.
The hierarchy of controls is on Table 4 of ANU's risk assessment template (Appendix B).
4. Record your findings
It's important to document and record your findings, as this is a legal requirement. The recordings show the hazards identified and how they are controlled, and should the activity be repeated, this assessment can be reused.
5. Review the assessment and update when needed
Workplaces change all the time, so it's important to remember to update and review the assessment prior to conducting the activity. This is an important step as you can add on new hazards within the area, or remove hazards.
When in doubt, seek assistance from your supervisor in the first instance, and then the WHS team.