Health and safety risk assessment in the workplace
All companies with employees must prepare a written health and safety risk assessment. The employer is responsible for carrying this out and involving the employees in the process.
All companies with employees must prepare a written health and safety risk assessment.
The risk assessment process is about surveying the company’s working environment, identifying the areas where interventions are needed and making a plan for how you aim to improve the working environment in those areas.
How does a health and safety risk assessment benefit the company?
A risk assessment improve health and safety in a company and can have the following benefits:
- Reduces the costs of accidents and occupational disease
- Reduces sick leave
- Reduces attrition among employees
- Greater job satisfaction, motivation and productivity.
What are the requirements for a health and safety risk assessment?
The process entails identifying any health and safety problems that may exist so that they can be resolved. Companies must always ensure that their health and safety risk assessments live up to the following requirements:
- The risk assessment must be in writing, but in an optional format. It can be stored electronically, for instance.
- The risk assessment must be available for reading by the management, employees and Danish Working Environment Authority.
- The risk assessment must be revised when any changes occur that are of relevance to the working environment, but at least every three years.
The risk assessment process consists of five elements that the company must perform:
- Survey the company's working environment to reveal any health and safety issues.
- Describe any health and safety issues and evaluate how to resolve them.
assess if there are working environment circumstances that contribute to increased sick leave.
- Draft a plan of action that describes, among other things, when, how and by whom any problems will be resolved.
- Describe how the company will follow up on the plan of action, including who is responsible for carrying out the plan in practice.
The Danish Working Environment Authority does not have to approve the health and safety risk assessment, but carries out inspections to ensure that workplace risk assessments live up to statutory requirements. Your company may be issued an improvement notice to prepare a health and safety risk assessment if it is lacking one or if the existing health and safety risk assessment is inadequate.
The company’s Health and Safety Organisation must be involved in the entire risk assessment process. If a company has nine or fewer employees it is not required to have a Health and Safety Organisation but an employee representative must be involved in the process. The company chooses the methods and tools it will use to perform the health and safety risk assessment.
Risk assessment tools
The Danish Working Environment Authority – Arbejdstilsynet – has prepared a number of checklists that you can use during a risk assessment. The checklists are especially suitable for companies with fewer than 10 employees. They contain a series of questions on working environment conditions that are typical for the sector.
Download a Health and safety risk assessment checklist
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