A dynamic risk assessment is the ongoing process of continually assessing and reassessing the risks within a changing workplace, enabling you to identify and eliminate hazards as they present themselves.
Dynamic risk assessments allow you to react to an ever-changing working environment, tackling events such as inclement weather, lone working, pandemics, major accidents or emergencies.
Why do I need dynamic risk assessments?
In most cases, hazards are static and may only ever change slightly, if at all.
On the other hand, some situations such as natural disasters, inclement weather or emergencies cannot be fully planned for and pose ever-changing risks to your workforce and your customers.Even having lone workers who visits customers’ houses means that will find themselves facing a range of ever-changing risks and hazards. They could be confronted with an aggressive customer and be required to take completely different actions to those carried out on their previous visit.
Dynamic risk assessments seek to identify, control and record risks as and when they occur.
Take the current coronavirus pandemic as an example. We would hope that from the very first risks that were identified, you completed a series of risk assessments and put in place the control measures relevant to your business. In the few short months that have passed since the initial threat, we have seen government guidance change time and again, with the most unprecedented of control measures being implemented in March when many businesses throughout the UK closed their doors temporarily.
As of 10 May 2020, we are about to embark on the very first steps of reopening the country and the economy. During this process, the risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) will remain, and the required control measures will continue to change. We must be able to adapt. For example, as we begin to relax social distancing, different locations may experience further surges of infections and have to react at a moment’s notice with improved control measures. You could relax measures only to find that enhancements need to be introduced shortly after as we learn more about how the virus spreads, and are forced to react to new hazards. Business owners need to be able to react quickly and communicate effectively with their whole workforce to keep their people safe. To do this they need to be able to complete dynamic risk assessments.
Carrying out dynamic risk assessments means having the processes and systems in place to facilitate assessing risks as and when they present themselves. Stay up-to-date with official guidelines and responding to them as they develop ensures that you’re doing all you can to protect your staff and customers, future-proofing your business.
How to complete a dynamic risk assessment
There’s no doubt that all risk assessments should be reviewed regularly, but having a dynamic risk assessment process in place means that you can react to changes as and when they occur, in additional to periodic reviews.
Your chosen Competent Person should know when to reassess spontaneously, based on the factors that are presented. You can also empower team members to take ownership of their specific environments, assessing risks on the job, behaving appropriately and reporting back learnings to your Competent Person. Once investigated, they would then update the associated method statements and communicate the relevant changes to the affected people.
How can CRAMS help?
If you’re stuck in a world of paper-based risk assessments, what we’re recommending here could be onerous to implement and to maintain. To incorporate dynamic risk assessments into your business the key is being able to communicate changes quickly, flexing the advice you give your staff depending on the current situation. Risk assessments need updating for many reasons, following accidents and incidents, legislation changes, changes in staff skills or when new control measures are available (eg improved PPE).
Rewriting documents and having staff sign hard copies to show their understanding is difficult if you operate a paper-based or non-centralised system, but there’s another way. Take your risk assessments online with CRAMS and your whole workforce can benefit from our all-inclusive, cloud-based software.
Your Competent Person and chosen administrators/supervisors will have everything they need to create living, breathing documents that can be updated as quickly as the situation changes and communicated to workers directly via their smartphones, tablets or laptops.
This communication must work both ways to be truly dynamic. Your team should be able to quickly identify specific risks posed to them and report them as the need arises. With CRAMS, anyone can report a hazard, incident or accident – the appropriate person is then automatically notified and has the responsibility of investigating, updating related documents and communicating any changes. All these tasks can be carried out the very same day, with our responsive, cloud-based system.
Of course, expecting your workforce to complete dynamic risk assessments on their surroundings is something that requires support and training. When you have 60+ e-learning incorporated into your health and safety data management tool you can easily distribute training courses and track staff engagement. e-learning topics range from the fundamentals of workplace safety and risk assessments, to specialist topics such as COSHH, PPE and even coronavirus (COVID-19)
Keep your employees safe from harm and revolutionise your health and safety process with dynamic risk assessments.
Our team love to demonstrate the power of our sophisticated software. If you’d like to learn more about how CRAMS could help your organisation, book a demo today!