What are Critical Risk Controls?
Keeping the workplace safe and free from serious incidents begins with identifying hazards and risks. Once identified, you must manage these risks through implementing and tracking critical risk controls – these are actions that are designed to eliminate or minimise the identified risk.
Risk control measures provide a number of benefits to your workplace:
- Helps identify at-risk employees. Knowing who is exposed to serious hazards and the associated risks means a plan can be developed to prevent workers from potential injuries.
- Save costs by being proactive in managing your workplace risks.
- Fulfill your health and safety obligations. The HSWA 2015 states that PCBUs must eliminate risks to health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable (more).
How Do We Identify Risk Controls?
The Hierarchy of Controls is a useful framework you can follow to ensure you are implementing the most effective controls to manage your risks. You must work through each control from the top down – the higher the control, the more effective it is. Thus, implementing PPE should be your very last option. Selecting appropriate risk controls is a critical process and should involve both managers and workers.
Your key objective is to eliminate the hazard/risk so far as is practicably reasonable. If you are unable to completely eliminate the risk, it must then be minimised so far as is reasonably practicable.
How Do We Track Risk Controls?
Critical risk controls should remain effective and be fit-for-purpose. Continual reassessment of the risks allows you to determine whether the control methods applied have been effective in reducing or eliminating the risks or whether they should be re-evaluated.
One way to track a control could be annual Health Monitoring. This method is effective in identifying any changes in a worker’s health status because of exposure to certain health hazards arising from their work, such as noise or contaminants in the air like hazardous dusts, fumes or vapours (more).
Monitoring and tracking controls should be completed at scheduled times. All policies, processes and systems should have a regular review date to check that they’re up-to-date and are being followed. This will also provide the opportunity for you to continually improve parts of your health and safety framework if necessary.
Our GOSH system provides organisations with the ability to manage hazard and risks with ease. It includes a comprehensive risk register, scheduled reminders for reviewing controls and much more. Contact us now for more information on GOSH!