When working on a construction site, both employers and workers need to be aware of anything that may cause injury or illness to a person or that may cause harm to equipment or the environment.
Being able to identify a workplace ‘hazard’ and the ‘risk’ of each hazard is a requirement of everyone working in the construction industry and is crucial to maintaining a safe working environment.
Below we’ve outlined the process of identifying the hazards and risks and how to respond to them adequately, which is thoroughly covered in our White Card online training course.
Hazard vs. Risks
What exactly is the difference between a risk and a hazard?
A ‘hazard’ is anything that is a source of ‘danger’ whereas a ‘risk’ is the chance of that hazard causing an injury. Knowing the likelihood and consequences of potential risks is the key to reducing incidents on site.
In order to eliminate or decrease the risk of an injury, illness or death, you need to put in place a Risk Management Process.
This process involves:
- Identifying the Hazard
- Assessing the Risk
- Controlling the Risk
- Reviewing Control Measures
Identifying hazards involves locating potential hazards around the construction worksite and then transferring it to Risk Assessment Record Sheet provided by your organisation.
Assessing the Risk
If there is no Regulation, Code of Practice or guide for the hazard you identified on the construction site, you are required to assess the risk, considering factors such as:
- Likelihood that the hazard will occur
- The severity of the harm (consequences).
Once these factors have been determined, you are then required to match them against the Risk Assessment Matrix and record the results on the Risk Assessment Record Sheet.
Controlling the Situation
After determining the severity and likelihood of a risk, the next step is to put into place a Control Measure to control, reduce or eliminate the hazard. The Control Measure has five levels of the Hierarchy used to determine the best possible solution to the risk, with elimination being the most effective.
- Eliminate: remove the hazard completely
- Substitute: If elimination is not an option, can the work activity or product be substituted with something else?
- Isolate: If substitution is not an option, can the risk be isolated?
- Administrate: If isolation is not an option, can a system be put in place to eliminate or reduce the risk over time?
- Protect: If administrating is not an option, can protective equipment or practices be used?
Hazard and risk identification and the process in assessing and controlling the risk involved is just one of the topics thoroughly covered in our White Card online training course. Upon completion of your White Card course, you will be familiar with the rules and regulations of the construction industry, know how to respond to hazards and be informed of your responsibilities as a construction worker.
Anyone wanting to work in the construction industry is legally required to have completed White Card online training and be able to show their White Card when requested.
To find out more about our White Card Online course, click here.