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Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment
April 16, 2018

Are you taking risks with risk assessment?

Risk assessment is fundamental to effective health and safety management and is vital for good corporate governance.  As discussed in Richard Booth’s recent post, central to most organisation’s approach to risk assessment is some form of risk matrix.  The purpose of this post is to challenge you to consider if your current risk matrix and how it is used meets…
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RiskRisk Assessment
December 14, 2017

Risk matrices – a personal story

Background Qualitative (or strictly ‘semi-quantitative’) risk likelihood/severity matrices have been used for perhaps 30 years to assist in preparing ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk assessments.  Though they were not included as part of HSE’s ‘5 steps to risk assessment’, I have never seen risk assessments without them in recent years.  An amazing number are based on the approach in BS8800: 1996…
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RiskRisk AssessmentUncategorized
November 23, 2017

An incomplete view

Last week I spent time with an evening shift conducting part of a safety audit.  The following morning, when I opened my hotel room curtains, I saw this car waiting to pulling out into the rush hour traffic.  As you can see, the windscreen had been cleared just enough for the driver to see the road ahead.  This behaviour struck…
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Risk Assessment
November 16, 2017

Responding to unsafe behaviours at the ‘blunt end’

In last week’s post I discussed the need to not walk by unsafe supervision, management and leadership behaviours at the ‘blunt end’ just as much as unsafe working practices at the ‘sharp end’.  As noted these unsafe behaviours may be observed, but are more likely to be discovered by reviewed safety ‘output’ documents such as risk assessment records and by…
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General Health and SafetyRiskRisk AssessmentSafety Culture
November 9, 2017

What are you walking by?

‘Don’t walk by’ is an important feature of many safety improvement programmes.  It is clearly important.  If you walk past unsafe behaviours and conditions you are condoning them.  Everyone in an organisation should be ‘not walking by’ anything that is unsafe.  That is, anything that does not conform to required working practices, equipment and workplace conditions. But there is too…
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RiskRisk Assessment
October 5, 2017

What’s the use of risk assessment?

Suitable and sufficient risk assessment is the cornerstone of effective health and safety risk management.  Yet too often risk assessments are a crumbling foundation incapable of supporting resilient risk control.  Why does this occur and what can you do to improve? Why was risk assessment introduced in the first place? The traditional approach was to presume that all was well…
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General Health and SafetyRisk Assessment
September 28, 2017

Are accident statistics a dangerous obsession?

Steve Highley reflects on a how couple of small accidents (pricks to the hand) were a sign of dangerous obsession. steel braided flexible pipe An operator in my production area pricked the  palm of his hand and needed a plaster.  He had been handling a steel braided flexible pipe like those in this image.  The braiding had become a little frayed…
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General Health and SafetyRisk Assessment
June 15, 2017

An apolitical blog

What’s the use of risk assessment (before calling a general election)? And what do general elections teach safety professionals? Safety professionals are often derided as health and safety zealots.  But would we have helped avoid an electoral disaster with consequences far worse than even the most serious major industrial accident? The answer is “Yes”. Here’s why At root, risk assessment…
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General Health and SafetyRiskRisk Assessment
May 4, 2017

Human Fallibility and the Pathway Disaster

Steve Highley takes a look at lessons to be learned from Deepwater Horizon. He focuses on how risk decision making was compromised by a number of external factors. He points out that these types of issues are common but rarely addressed through training and challenges us to consider the implications of this for our own organisations. Are we on a…
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General Health and SafetyRiskRisk Assessment
April 27, 2017

Deadlines and Decisions

Steve Highley looks at how deadlines can lead to a change in our behaviour. He asks you to reflect on the questions within the blog, considering their implications for how you and managers in your organisation make risk decisions. Preparing for next week’s blog were he will look at an example of how such experience based risk decisions can create pathways…
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Pro-EvaluateRisk Assessment
August 26, 2015

Do you know what health and safety risks your organisation is taking?

Pro-Evaluate was developed by Hastam.  Dr Tony Boyle explains how Pro-Evaluate can really make a difference to safety management.  However, the principles can apply to any business function. In my view, here are four broad categories of health and safety risks that health and safety professionals have to take into account. Risks that could result in harm to people. Risks…
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Behavioural SafetyGeneral Health and SafetyRiskRisk Assessment
March 23, 2015

Why do you, a professor of safety, ride a motor bike?

Why do you ride a 1,000 cc motor bike with more performance than anyone could need? Why do you ride all the year round? Surely it’s only fun when it’s dry and warm? And aren’t you a bit old for biking anyway? Here’s why It keeps you young; psychomotor skills are retained longer; the vibration keeps bones strong. Traffic jams…
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