Risk management companies work with companies to identify, analyse, monitor, mitigate and report risks. These companies employ risk analysts and managers that monitor how the company controls its risks and the financial resources they have to reduce risks.
Phelan Caswell has and continues to use risk assessors for our clients’ needs and requirements, which generally comes at an additional cost to your insurance premiums. However, using a risk management company represents that you are risk-averse and can result in favourable premiums from insurers for large and complex risks even if you are unfortunate to have a series of claims.
The main aim is to make sure that no one gets hurt or becomes ill. Accidents and ill health can ruin lives and affect business if the output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase, or you have to go to court. Therefore, carrying out Risk Assessments, preparing and implementing a Safety Statement and keeping both up to date will not in themselves prevent accidents and ill health. Still, they will play a crucial part in reducing their likelihood.
Employers, managers and supervisors should all ensure that workplace practices reflect the Risk Assessments and Safety Statements. Behaviour, how everyone works, must reflect the safe working practices laid down in these documents. Supervisory checks and audits should be carried out to determine how well the aims set down are being achieved. Corrective action should be taken when required. Additionally, if a workplace is provided for use by others, the Safety Statement must also set out the safe work practices relevant to them.
Hence, it is important to carry out a Risk Assessment and prepare a Safety Statement for:
- Financial reasons:
There is considerable evidence, borne out by companies’ practical experiences, which effective safety and health management in the workplace contributes to business success. Accidents and ill-health inflict high costs, often hidden and underestimated.
- Legal reasons:
Carrying out a Risk Assessment, preparing a Safety Statement and implementing what you have written down are not only central to any safety and health management system, they are required by law. Health and Safety Authority inspectors visiting workplaces will want to know how employers are managing safety and health. If they investigate an accident, they will scrutinise the Risk Assessment and Safety Statement and the procedures and work practices in use. It should be ensured that these stand up to examination. If the inspector finds that one of these is inadequate, they can ask the employer to revise it. Employers can be prosecuted if they do not have a Safety Statement.
- Moral and ethical reasons:
The process of carrying out a Risk Assessment, preparing a Safety Statement and implementing what you have written down will help employers prevent injuries and ill-health at work. Employers are ethically bound to do all they can to ensure that their employees do not suffer an illness, a serious accident or death.
What does the law require Risk Assessments and Safety Statements?
Every employer is required to manage safety and health at work to prevent accidents and ill-health. The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 require employers to:
- identify the hazards
- carry out a Risk Assessment
- prepare a written Safety Statement
This process has a practical purpose. It will help employers, and other duty holders manage employees’ safety and health and balance the size of any safety and health problems and what has to be done about them. This is because the system must be risk-based. The required safety measures must be proportionate to the real risks involved and must be adequate to eliminate, control or minimise the risk of injury. The system must involve consultation between the employer and his/her employees, who are required by law to cooperate with the employer in the safety-management process.