If you want your employees and business to remain protected, you should undergo risk assessment. This would allow you to concentrate on all possible risks, and even mitigate their effects. In most of the cases, even the simplest practices do the job, but prior to do this, you should thoroughly be aware of potential risks. Until this is not so, you will never be able to decide what you should implement and what might not be that effective.
In simple words, a risk assessment is just a very thorough examination of all the factors in your business that can cause harm to your employees, customers or to the success of the product itself. Once you know these, you will be able to evaluate if there are enough precautionary measures in place or if more preventive steps need to be taken.
The main phases in risk assessment have been summarized in the figure and are describe below.
The most initial step in a risk assessment is to identify all possible ways in which people can be harmed. There are several ways of observing this. Survey your workplace and try to figure out anything that signifies a warning. You could also ask your employees about this. Since they are directly involved, they might be able to give you a deeper insight. You can also refer to instruction manuals and data-sheets of the equipment and chemicals which you use. They usually state the hazards and can give you a very good idea.
For each risk that you determine, you need to find out who can be harmed because this would make it easier for you to manage the risk. You do not have to list down names, just identify those groups which are more prone to the risks. For instance, if there is dangerous chemical, then the people in close vicinity of its storage place are likely to suffer more than others.
Once you identify all the risks, you will have to decide what you should do with them. The laws state that you should implement as many precautionary measures as possible so that you can offer maximum people who are prone to the hazards. True you can always think up of measures on your own, but a much better way of handling this is to follow a set of proven standards. Not only will this ease the process for you, but the measures will also be more effective.
Once you decide on the measures, implement them and make sure that everyone follows them. You should also properly document all your results because it would make it easier for you to conduct a review in the future if a need arises.