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Study Notes: Risk Assessment

Risk means the likelihood that something will occur and hazard describes the severity of the hazard in human or environmental outcomes.

Risk assessment is a simple technique that allows the laboratory technician to make important decisions about safety in their laboratory. Risk assessment uses two parameters when assessing risk:

  1. The severity of the hazard should it occur, and
  2. The risk (or likelihood) that it would occur.

For instance the hazard (severity) of a jet airliner crashing into SimuLab would be extreme but the likelihood would be very unlikely. This would give an overall risk assessment value that would be low which means that no action needs to be taken to manage the risk.

The following table, and explanatory note explains the risk assessment process more clearly.

How Likely? (Risk)
How Severe (Hazard)?
 
No treatment or first aid only
One - two days off work
More than two days off work
Killed or disabled
Very Likely (Could happen frequently)
3
2
1
1
Likely (Could happen occasionally)
4
3
2
1
Unlikely (Will rarely happen)
5
4
3
2
Very Unlikely (Probably will never happen)
6
5
4
3

Manage the hazards as follows:

Rating 1: highest priority - corrective or preventative action needs immediate action

Rating 2: put in place preventative or emergency procedures ASAP

Rating 3: }
Rating 4: } lower priority but you need to plan for these (e.g. paper cut, fall)
Rating 5: }

Rating 6:
lowest priority - would be addressed when all other hazards are attended to.

 

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