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Risk Management

The concept of 'risk’ is central to the formulation of the common law duty of care.

In particular, a common law duty holder will generally only be liable for breach of duty in relation to injuries caused by the manifestation of hazards and associated risks, which were ‘reasonably foreseeable’.

At Common Law, reasonably foreseeable risks must be guarded against or managed. Work Health and Safety statutes employ a similar formulation of risks that must be guarded against.

Risk management principles are incorporated into the regulations in a number of ways. Significantly, a duty is imposed on PCBU (employers), main contractors, self-employed people, and people in control of workplaces to, ‘as far as practicable’:

Changes occur continuously in workplaces, as:

As changes occur at the workplace, the risk management process must take account of them.

For this reason, the risk management process cannot be regarded as a ‘one-off’ investment of time and resources. Otherwise the investment is wasted. Risk management should be an ongoing, constantly improving process.

To maintain its currency and its effectiveness, the risk management process must be continuously reviewed and steps taken to redress any flaws.

  1. The Job Safety Analysis (JSA) – Work Method Statement (WMS) process must be based on the premise of Risk Management.

Steps in Risk Management

There are four sequential steps in undertaking the risk management process:

1. Identify workplace hazards

2. Assess the associated risks

3. Control the risks

4. Monitor and review

To be effective each of the steps above must be carried out in sequence and with the necessary allocation of time, personnel and resources.

Contact Neil to discuss your Risk Management requirements.