As a result of the risk assessment, an overall view is formed on the risks caused by the existing hazards at the workplace.
A hazard means a situation which causes a health hazard.
A risk is a combination of probability to hazardous situation - how often the hazard is present – and the gravity of the causes.
The risk assessment is a part of the risk management. It is a process which begins with planning and continues with the realisation of assessment and corrective actions. Follow-up and feedback may later result in restarting the round.
This way, the risk management and concern with well-being at work become a part of the normal operations of vessels and quality systems. Consequently, all this has a positive effect on the profitability of shipping company business.
Extent of the risks
The main rule in assessing the extent of the risks is to first evaluate the gravity of causes and then the probability of the incident or exposure. The most important in this is not absolute precision but the fact that the actions taken are consistent.
First, an illness or another health hazard caused by the hazardous situation or exposure is described as accurately as possible considering a typical cause.
Occupational health care professionals know the illnesses of the staff and the effects on health of the chemical and biological hazards. They also have a lot to offer for assessing ergonomic stress factors.
Order of importance of risks
The extent of the risks i.e. through the gravity of the causes and the probability of occurrence of the risks, the assessment of the significance of individual risks is achieved. This phase is also called the assessment of acceptability of the risk and setting in the order of importance.
Part of the risks are such that their prevention is regulated by industrial safety legislation and there is no need for any specific decision.
However, the majority of the risks requires a decision for their significance. A good practice is that the decisions are made together with the staff. This gives a good basis for putting in order and timing the corrective actions.
The risk assessment with its results must be recorded carefully. It helps monitoring and forms a basis for a new risk assessment to be made later on.