11. Risk Assessment

11.1  Risk Assessment Process

Risk assessment is a systematic examination of any activity, location or operational system in order to control hazards and manage risk.  A risk assessment enables an individual to:

  • identify hazards;
  • understand the likelihood and potential consequences of the hazards (ie the risk);
  • review the current or planned approaches to controlling the risks; and
  • add new control measures where required.

It is an ongoing process and should be carried out by the Category 4 Delegate particularly when changes to equipment, layout or procedures occur in a work area.  A risk assessment of a work area is synonymous with a safety audit.

A Risk Assessment must be completed before a Hazardous Substance is used.

The process of risk assessment involves 8 basic steps:

Step 1: Decide who should be involved

Step 2: Identify hazards

Step 3: Analyse consequences (potential injury, property damage, etc)

Step 4: Assess risk (probability, frequency, severity of injury or loss)

Step 5: Determine action (methods of removing or reducing risk)

Step 6: Implement controls (redesign, removal, new methods, audit)

Step 7: Evaluate controls

Step 8: Keep a record of the assessment and review regularly

Cost centres are encouraged to use the Risk Assessment forms available from USQSafe or to contact USQSafe if they require assistance in developing forms, checklists and other tools more appropriate to their own needs.

For more information on risk assessments refer to the USQ Policy- WHS Risk Management.

11.2  Hierarchy of Control

Actions resulting from risk assessments should follow the hierarchy of control, a systematic approach to selecting control measures.  It involves the selection of the most appropriate control measures for the particular hazard.  The following group of control measures are available:

1. Elimination
2. Substitution
3. Redesign
4. Engineering
5. Administrative
6. Personal protective equipment.

When a control measure is being chosen, it is important to begin at the top of the list and work down until the most appropriate control measure is selected.  The nearer to the top of the list a control measure is, the more effective it will be.

11.3  References

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 Hazardous Chemicals (Qld)
USQSafe Workplace Health and Safety Procedures Manual, Section R1 - Risk Management

11.4  USQSafe contact

Manager (USQSafe)

11.5  Status

Published October 1998
Reviewed October 2009
Reviewed November 2012