HIRA methodology

There are no fixed rules about how the risk assessment should be under taken. The following steps could be used as guidance.

Step 1: Initiating the HIRA and selecting the approach

Two principles should be taken in consideration before an assessment is carried out:

A number of approaches (and combinations thereof) to risk assessment can be adopted to perform the HIRA.

The approaches to risk assessment at work which are used are normally based upon:

Step 2: Identify the hazards

The importance of this element cannot be over emphasised. It is by far the most important element of the risk assessment process and should be performed in a systematic manner.

During the phycical assessment or after the assessment

The adoption of some systematic way of allowing relevant persons to ‘'see'' or ‘‘spot'' the hazards present in the workplace.

If the hazard identification is not carried out carefully, the subsequent analysis of risk and the development of risk control measures become pointless. The identification of hazards is not only an essential part of the risk assessment process, but also acts very effectively to change the way people think, causing them to act more safely and so become more proactive in hazard awareness. When you work in a place every day it is easy to overlook some hazards. There are many techniques and tools that can be used as part of the hazard identification process, here are some tips to help you identify the ones that matter:

Remember to think about long-term hazards to health (e.g. high levels of noise or exposure to harmful substances) as well as safety hazards.

Step 3: Identify all parties affected by the hazard and determine how they can be affected

Next you need to identify who might be harmed; it will help you identify the best way of managing the risk. That doesn't mean listing everyone by name, but rather identifying groups of people (e.g. people working in the storeroom or kitchen). In each case, identify how they might be harmed, e.g. what type of injury or ill health might occur.

Pay particular attention to vulnerable people.


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