The main purpose of conducting the Risk Management Process is to identify hazards that are present in the workplace. Hazards can be identified and then methods for minimising associated risks or injuries can be developed before work has commenced. Work Health and Safety (WHS) officers, supervisors, workers and visitors can be made aware of each hazard which assists in minimising risk and leads to a safer workplace.
An effective Risk Management Process should also allow you to develop Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), which are written instructions for officers, supervisors and workers outlining acceptable work methods that minimise WHS risks. Consult with your workers to develop your processes and procedures and assess the safest and most practical way of carrying out the work activity. SWMS may be site specific depending on the site and the type of work being carried out or they may be generic and relate to more than one work site.
An effective SWMS should:
- Identify the hazards and risks;
- Assess the risk(s) posed by the hazards, to the health and safety of workers or damage to property and the environment;
- Use appropriate control measures to eliminate or control the risks; and
- Review the control measures you put in place from time to time to make sure they remain appropriate.