Risk Management and Assessment

Risk Management is an important way to protect your staff and students, while at the same time complying with the law. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace – the ones with potential to cause real harm.  This guideline has been developed to provide instruction on how to complete a basic risk assessment.

Definitions

Hazard – Anything with the potential to cause harm, injury, illness or loss – eg. Manual handling hazards, slips and trips, chemical hazards.

Risk – The likelihood of a specific consequence occurring – eg. The risk of spinal injury while lifting sports equipment in the gym.

Process

  1. Identify the risk – There are a number of ways to identify risks in the workplace. These include workplace inspections, audit reports, consultation with employees and incident reporting and investigation. List these items in the OHS Risk Register (see template below)
  2. Assess the risk – Once the risk has been identified it should be assessed in consultation with the Health and Safety Representative(s), if applicable, and/or school principal/affected employees. Using the Risk assessment tool below each hazard should be scored and allocated a level of risk
  3. Eliminate or Control the risk – once the hazards have been identified and the risks assessed, strategies should be put in place to either eliminate or control the risk
  4. Document the process – adequate record keeping will demonstrate that you have been actively working to ensure safety at your school.  Records should show that the process has been conducted properly, including information about the hazards identified, associated risks and the control measures implemented.  The easiest way to do this is by completing the OHS Risk Register
  5. Monitor and review – Risk controls should be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that they have the desired impact.

Responsibilities

School

  • Ensure that OHS hazards in the workplace are routinely identified, in consultation with relevant persons (staff, contractors, etc.)
  • Ensure that employees, contractors and visitors have the relevant information, instruction and training
  • Reviewing OHS risk controls to ensure they are implemented and effective
  • Maintaining records of the OHS risk assessment process.

Staff

  • Reporting hazards and incidents in the workplace
  • Assisting with the completion of OHS risk assessments as required
  • Following safe work procedures and instructions.