In the following article, you can find the information you need to gather, the team that needs to be created, and the biggest mistakes for risk assessment.

Yüksekte çalışmalarda iş sağlığı ve güvenliği

Author: Emel Çalışkan

Date: 09/05/2017

The concept of work safety includes the protection of employees, the operator and production from all kinds of hazards and harms. Due to the priority of human life, it is seen that the security of operation and production is on the second plenary and the security of employees in general is expressed by the concept of international work safety.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) refer to Occupational Health and Safety as "to ensure the highest level of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations and to maintain this level, to prevent their health deterioration due to working conditions, To protect workers from the threats of unsanitary factors, to place workers in the most appropriate occupational environments for their physiological and psychological conditions, to place and maintain them in the most appropriate occupational environments, in summary, to ensure that human beings work and adapt to each person's own business ".

The concept of Occupational Health and Safety differs from Worker Health and Occupational Safety concept in that it includes the determination, evaluation of risks and the work to be carried out to completely eliminate these risks or to minimize the damage. Business Health and Security in terms of international aspect; even when there is no danger and failure in the business, it includes determination of the danger and risks that may arise in the business and decision making works to decide whether they are acceptable or not, ie the old "reactive" approaches have left their place to "proactive" approaches.

Risk analysis / risk assessment evaluation is one of the most effective methods of work health and safety approach applied in work areas. The provision of the managerial activeness provided by analyzing the risks that we may encounter at the workplace is one of the main branches of work health and safety studies.

Risk Analysis and Management

Risk analysis is a systematic approach developed to control the health and safety aspects of the workplace. The main objective is to identify and prioritize existing risks at the workplace, take appropriate measures to control risk by prioritizing elimination of them.

Purpose of Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management is to establish an effective safety net to prevent the emergence of undetected hazards by gathering the most valid and accurate information possible about the causes of work accidents and occupational diseases and the factors affecting them. A good risk analysis ensures the detection of dangerous and invisible hazards and effective security precautions in terms of protection from accidents that may arise.

When encounter a risk, the first thing to do is to determine the source event and the effects of the risk. Thus, it becomes easier to recognize the risk and you can practically determine what measures can be taken against the risk. It is also worth mentioning that poorly defined risks may lead to further risks.

What Information Should I Collect for Risk Analysis and How?

What you need to know in order to evaluate the risks at your workplace and to know them;

  • Your business location,
  • General information about people working in the business (you should be more careful with your pregnant, young or disabled workers considering that they are more likely to be exposed to occupational hazards than usual.)
  • What work equipment, materials and process you use,
  • What kind of work you do,
  • The hazards you have identified and their sources,
  • The results of your current hazards,
  • What protective measures are you using,
  • Have there been any work accidents in the work before?
  • Has anyone in the work ever had occupational disease?
  • What are your legal obligations with your workplace?
  • Technical data of the equipment you use at your workplace
  • Technological data and business guides
  • Results of media measurements made in the enterprise
  • Material safety data sheets of chemical materials
  • Related legislation and standards
  • Scientific and technical literature

And besides, information can be gathered by the following methods

  • can also be obtained by observing work environment
  • work performed at the workplace
  • work performed outside the workplace
  • external factors (weather conditions etc.) that will be effective at the workplace

How Does Risk Analysis Work?

In risk assessment, there are many ways to identify risks. Depending on the structure of the business, the characteristics of the processes, the tasks performed and the technology used, you can select a method among many. There is no coercion at this point.

For many businesses, the 5-step approach provides both easy-to-understand and required guidance.

1-) Identification of Hazards

In this step, you need to determine what will harm the employees, the production and the operation.

2-) Evaluation of Hazards

The assessment of the list of hazards you have created in the first step determines what measures to take and what risk rating should be done for them.

3-) Risk rating

In the second step, the risk ratios are rated by calculating the weight ratios of the independent risks for each that are decided to be risk-rated, and the risks are subject to order of priority.

4-) Application of Control Measures

Necessary precautions are taken for hazards that can be removed immediately according to the measures decided in the second and third steps, and an appropriate control period is determined in order not to reoccur. Implementation plans for non-urgent measures which require a certain cost and time are prepared and put into practice.

5-) Auditing, Monitoring and Review

All stages and practices of risk management at workplaces are regularly audited, monitored and resolved aspects are reviewed.

Misconceptions Regarding Risk Assessment

The efficient risk assessment must be appropriate to provide the expected benefit. While the number of risk assessment companies is increasing, quality has become a debated concept for risk analysis. Here are the frequent mistakes impacting on quality and risk analysis that many companies have repeated:

  • Risk analysis is considered as a one-time job. However, risk analysis is a process that needs to be updated on a regular basis. (Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment Regulation Article-12)
  • Risks, working conditions are not analyzed and evaluated collectively. As a consequence, there is no effective result because of the lack of complementary measures and the lack of a holistic approach. (Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment Regulation Article-10)
  • Risk assessment can not be well documented. (Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment Regulation Article-11)
  • The risk assessment is performed superficially and focuses on the risks that are obvious and require urgent intervention. Long-term effects such as those stemming from chemicals, psychosocial risks, ergonomic factors are ignored.
  • The effectiveness of the measures is not adequately monitored. (Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment Regulation Article-10/3)
  • It can be realized by a competent person in the company, but it does not provide the desired result with the persons who do not know the firm and by realizing without the participation of the employees. (Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment Regulation Article-5 Risk Assessment Team should do it.)

Occupational Health and Safety Risk Assessment Regulation Article-5

1) Employer; Ensure, maintain and improve the work environment and employees' health and safety, and provide risk assessment in terms of occupational health and safety or have it made.

2) the risk assessment has been carried out; It does not remove the employer's obligation to provide occupational health and safety at workplace.

3) The employer shall provide all kinds of information and documents required for the risk assessment of the person or persons assigned in the risk assessment work.

What General Hazards We May Have ??

  1. Are there any areas that could cause you to trip and fall?
  2. Do we have slippery floors?
  3. Do we have emergency exit routes?
  4. Do you have emergency support teams?
  5. Are our thermal comfort conditions conveniant? (Lighting, heat etc.)
  6. Are respirable dusts present?
  7. Are there noisy environments?
  8. Is our work equipment sufficient? (If necessary, helmet, gloves, work shoes, etc.)
  9. Do we have work-oriented training to do the work? (Working at height, working with chemicals etc.)
  10. Do we have areas where we will work at height?
  11. Is there a risk of deflagration, explosion?
  12. Do we have do cargo handling work?
  13. Do we have ergonomic conditions? (Both chair comfort and back lumbar support, etc. for desk job)
  14. Do we have chemical use?
  15. Are the material safety data sheets of the chemicals used available?
  16. Do we have areas with risk of material fall?
  17. Is there a danger of hand-pressing in mechanicals?
  18. Are electrical hazards present? Do you have leakage current relays? Do you have an insulator mat under panel? Etc..)
  19. Do you have psychosocial risk factors?
  20. Do employees have appropriate health certificate?
  21. Do we have a job authorization system? (Hot work permit, indoor work permit etc.)
  22. Has the exercise been conducted for emergency situations within the enterprise?

Sample Nonconformities and Solutions

Beginner personnel who have not received job entry training assigned in the field and begin working Providing job entry training for employees. Job entry processings of untrained personnel are not allowed to carry out.
Lack of basic OHS trainings Every employee in the business has to take basic OHS training before entering the job. According to the operational hazard class, 16 hours training for the greatest level of hazard, 12 hours for intermediate level and 8 hours for low level must be provided.
Lack of emergency exercise Emergency exercise must be carried out at least once a year throughout the enterprise and employees should be informed.
Manual lifting, picking up materials from the floor, lifting heavy materials The load to be lifted by hand should not exceed 25 kg per person. Lifting more than 25 kg of material as a team or removing it with mechanical equipment
Failure of periodic inspections of fire systems, hoses and moto-pumps within the enterprise If the time is not specified in the standards, periodical checks of the fire systems, hoses and moto-pumps are required to be carried out by authorized persons and institutions periodically once a year.
Lack of elevator controls If the time is not specified in the standards, periodical checks in the elevators should be carried out by the authorized persons and institutions regularly once a year. If the controls are out of compliance, the nonconformities should be eliminated as soon as possible.
Placing fire extinguisher tubes on the ground and in inaccessible areas The suspension ring of fire extinguisher tubes must be positioned hanging 90 cm up from the floor. Must be placed in easily accessible place.