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OH&S Risk management

Introduction

OH&S risk management is a key component of Swinburne's safety management system. The Swinburne safety management system is comprised of procedures, guidelines, templates and information aimed at minimising risk to staff, students, contractors and visitors.

Staff, students or contractors undertaking a risk assessment through the Swinburne OH&S risk management process are taking an important step in protecting the health and safety of people who may be adversely affected by works, processes and/or events being undertaken. The risk management process assists staff, students and contractors to focus on any risks in the workplace that have the potential to cause injury or illness.

To assist with this, Swinburne has implemented an OH&S risk management process made up of four key steps: (please click on headings below for more information)

1. Identify OH&S risk types and document in the OH&S Risk Register

All departments and business units must identify tasks and activities considered to pose a risk to health and safety. This can be facilitated by identifying hazards under the following risk types (not an exhaustive list):

  • Chemicals and toxicity
  • Biological and human
  • Plant/mechanical(entanglement/collision)
  • Manual handling
  • Physical environment or workplace design e.g. confined spaces
  • Electrical
  • Traffic management
  • Organisational and procedural arrangements
  • Psycho-social environment and task design
  • Natural environment

Hazards can be further identified by:

  • Conducting a worksite inspection
  • Asking staff/students what they think
  • Regular OH&S meetings
  • Contacting the OH&S team
  • Checking manufacturer instructions
  • Contacting the relevant trade association
  • Consultation with industry peers who use the same equipment/adopt the same processes

When identifying hazards, a team approach is best (where possible) - Ask a health & safety representative, staff member or an O&HS Consultant to assist you.


  • Excel Document

    Complete the OH&S Risk Register

    Task type processes, e.g.: Undertaking a trenching task to lay data cables between two buildings, setting up for a campus or off site event

Step 1 - Enter details of each item or task/risk into your OH&S risk register in columns 1 to 4.

Step 2 - Determine priorities in addressing identified risks, by using the 'Likelihood/Consequence' matrix- determine the risk rating and enter into column 5.

Step 3 - Determine the actions required, identify what type of risk assessment is required (purchase of equipment, training requirements, etc.) and enter into column 6.

Step 4 - Determine the due date.

Step 5 - On completion of the actions enter relevant information into columns 7 and 9.


2. Undertake Risk Assessments

Risk assessments must be undertaken by persons suitably competent in the task, activity, plant or chemical. All form of risk assessments must be approved by a relevant manager or their delegate.

What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is the process of assessing hazards that have the potential to harm people by the objects being used, work environment and/or work processes adopted. Once a hazard is identified, the staff member, student or contractor is able to assess (using a risk matrix):

  • how severely a person can be harmed by the hazard; and
  • how likely it is that a person will be harmed by that hazard

Hazards can be further identified by:

  • Conducting a worksite inspection
  • Asking staff/students what they think
  • Regular OH&S meetings
  • Contacting the OH&S team
  • Checking manufacturer instructions
  • Contacting the relevant trade association
  • Consultation with industry peers who use the same equipment/adopt the same processes

The term 'risk assessment' covers a wide range of types and formats used throughout industry today. Some of these may be specific to an industry type or to meet particular circumstances.
With the various types of risk assessments, names and acronyms,Swinburne has adopted the standard industry accepted formats and terms. This removes confusion and maintains processes in line with Swinburne's safety management system.


When should I complete a risk assessment?
A risk assessment should be undertaken when:

  • Reviewing new activities
  • Prior to purchasing new or used equipment, chemicals, hiring equipment,or using new substances and processes
  • Responding to incident/hazard reports
  • Responding to issues raised by Health and Safety Representatives or others
  • PDF Document

    Guide to OH&S Risk Management Process

    Use the above 'Guide to OH&S Risk Management Process' to determine the correct risk assessment type to be undertaken. Remember to prioritise undertaking risk assessments for those that have a higher risk rating in your risk register, working down to the lower rated items.

3. Identify and implement suitable controls for identified hazards

hierarchy control 289px(H) x 300px(W)

When identifying suitable controls, use the hierarchy of control diagram above to identify the means to eliminate or if not possible to eliminate, minimise the risk of injury so far as reasonably possible.

Always look to eliminate the hazard where possible � this is the most effective control. Too often people undertaking risk assessments look to the least effective control. While in some instances this may be the only way to minimise risk of the hazard occurring, consideration must be given to more effective controls.

Note, when determining the means to eliminate or minimise hazards, more than one control may be required, for example:

  • A machine may need to have guarding fitted, electrical test and tagging scheduled and emergency stop button fitted which would be identified as an 'engineering control'
  • An SOP,training and labelling of controls might be required prior to the operation of the plant, which would be an 'administrative control'
  • Hearing protection may be required when operating the plant, which would be a 'personal protective equipment' control

Controls identified must be implemented. Where delays to implementing controls may occur, the activity must not proceed until all identified controls are implemented.


4. Maintain records

Business units are required to maintain copies of all risk assessments, SOPs and all student and staff training records for a minimum period of five years. All records must be kept in at the location where the task or activity is undertaken and be readily accessible to authorised staff including the Swinburne HR OH&S team.

Always maintain both electronic and printed copies for each risk assessment and SOP.

A completed electronic copy of each risk assessment must be forwarded to the Human Resources OH&S team.


Click here to download the guide to OH&S Risk Management Process

Click here to download the OH&S Risk Register

Click here to view a generic OH&S Risk Register

Risk assessment templates used by Swinburne:

Job Safety Analysis
  • PDF Document

    Job Safety Analysis

    Task type processes, e.g.: Undertaking a trenching task to lay data cables between two buildings, setting up for a campus or off site event

A JSA is to be undertaken by all persons involved in the task. If the JSA activity has been undertaken previously the JSA must be reviewed to ensure any additional hazards are identified, dated for the current activity and signed off by those persons undertaking the activity.

Complete all heading details, including giving clear identification of the activity, job or project

Step 1 - Task: List all of the tasks required to carry out the works for the whole operation in order that they occur

Step 2 - Hazards: For each task determine what hazards could cause injury to person/s carrying out the activity or any other persons, or damage to property

Step 3 - Risk Controls: List all controls (current and/or to be implemented) to eliminate or minimise the risk of injury arising from the identified hazard

Step 4 - Who is Responsible: Identify person/s responsible to implement and or work to the control measures identified

Step 5 - Sign off: by all persons involved in carrying out the activity of their understanding and agreement to work to the control measures identified and immediately notify their manager/supervisor should other hazards be identified


Plant Risk Assessments
  • PDF Document

    Plant Risk Assessments

    Assessing plant hazards as defined by the plant regulations, e.g.: A milling machine, an autoclave, welding equipment, robotics, a scissor lift, mobile plant

Step 1: Identify the types of hazards as per each of the 16 categories, where no hazard exist for a particular hazard - note this as not applicable N/A

Step 2: Identify who might be harmed and how?

Step 3: Identify current controls already in place (e.g. guarding, training through safe operating procedures, test and tagging etc)

Step 4: What further action is necessary to eliminate or minimise risk of persons being harmed by the hazards identified

Step 5: Identify the person responsible, date to be completed and when it was completed.


Chemical Risk Assessment
  • PDF Document

    Chemical Risk Assessment

    Assessing chemical hazards (hazardous substances and/or dangerous goods) as defined in the hazardous substance & dangerous goods regulations, e.g.: Use, handling and storage of a corrosive chemical used in a laboratory

Chemical management throughout SUT is undertaken via ChemAlert and this system is to be used for all chemical risk assessments.

For persons that do not have access to the ChemAlert site or write authority to it, please contact the OH&S team on 9214 5309 or 9214 8049


Manual Handling Risk Assessment
  • PDF Document

    Manual Handling Risk Assessment

    Assessing hazards associated with body movement, force and duration to identify and implement controls to minimise musculoskeletal injury, e.g.: a task involving setting up of storage areas, moving a gas cylinder, archiving records or office relocations

Complete all heading details, including giving clear identification of the activity and location

Step 1: Describe the task to be undertaken.

Step 2: Identify the task hazards using the checklist? Consider frequency and duration of the postures, movements and forces, environment and individual factors

Step 3: What are you already doing? Identify current controls already in place, e.g.: training, manual handling equipment such as trolleys, administration procedures

Step 4: What further control measures are required. Identify who will action the controls, date to be completed and when it was completed.


Standard Risk Assessment
  • PDF Document

    Standard Risk Assessment

    Where specific risk assessment formats are not available, e.g.: Assessing permanent traffic management around a store or construction site, determining hazards for staff working after hours, setting up for an event, or managing psychosocial risks

Complete all heading details, including giving clear identification of the activity and location

Step 1: What are the hazards? What hazards could cause injury to person/s carrying out the activity, other person or damage to property?

Step 2: Who might be harmed and how? Identify who might be harmed and how.

Step 3: What are you already doing? Identify current controls already in place, e.g.: training, using a spotter for traffic management, electrical equipment is tested and tagged, using security to escort persons working alone to their motor vehicle

Current risk rating - Using the risk rating tool at the bottom of the page, determine the current risk rating

Step 4: What further action is necessary? Using the hierarch of control at the bottom of the page identify the most suitable means to eliminate or minimise the risk, always looking for the most effective control

Residual risk rating - using the risk rating tool at the bottom of the page, determine the residual risk rating

Finally - Record how will the controls be implemented? Identify who will action the controls, date to be completed and when it was completed.


Safe Operating Procedure

Note: Safe Operating Procedures (SOP) - SOP are generally drawn from risk assessments and are a form of a control measure under administrative control category(see hierarchy of controls). They are not risk assessments.

Safe Operating Procedures may be a form of control arising out of risk assessments. Note: for all Plant Risk Assessments a Safe Operating Procedure must be included as one of the controls.

Staff/student completion of training in Safe Operating Procedures and sign off must be recorded on a Safe Operating Procedure Student Staff Record and retained for five years.