Risk Management

General principles of prevention and the hierarchy of controls

General Principals of Prevention

When deciding on the controls, you should consider the general principles of prevention. These are a hierarchy of controls that set out how to manage hazards. The focus should be to get rid of the hazard, so that people are protected. If this is not possible then you should work through the principles until you have made it as safe as reasonably practicable.

It’s the law

Health and Safety Authority inspectors visiting workplaces will want to know how safety and health is being managed. If they investigate an accident, they will scrutinise the risk assessments, safety statement, and the procedures as well as the work practices.

Avoid the risk

If you can get rid of the hazard then people are not exposed to the risks. You should apply this principle first! 

Evaluate unavoidable risks

This requires you to undertake risk assessments. If you can’t get rid of a hazard, you must assess it! 

Combat the risks at source

Here you are trying to deal with the hazard at its root.

It’s good for business

A safe and healthy workplace contributes to an efficient business. The costs associated with accidents and ill health in the workplace can be significant.

Adapt the work to the individual

This is the principle of arranging the workplace and tasks to take into account your employees and to reduce the effect of work on health. 

Adapt your work place in line with technical progress

Safer systems of work are always being developed. You should keep up to date with new systems. 

Replace dangerous systems with safer alternatives

This applies to dangerous articles, substances or systems of work.

It’s the right thing to do

The consequences of a workplace injury or illness can be long lasting and devastating. This can be true not only for the victim, but also for their family and loved ones.

Develop a prevention policy

This is where you would set out how you are going to protect your employees and other people from the hazards in your workplace.

Give priority to collective protective measures

Here it is better to put controls in place that protect everyone, rather than just handing out PPE to employees. 

Give training and instruction

Once you have assessed the risks and decided on your controls in line with the principles above, you will need to tell your employees about them and to make sure that they are competent to comply with them.

Creating a positive culture

A positive approach to safety has 5 times the greater effect than a negative approach. 

Risk Process

Once all hazards are identified, IPU365 will calculate risk using a risk rating matrix (Probability X Severity = Risk Rating). When each hazard is identified and the risk rating calculated we will implement a set of controls to reduce both the probability and severity of risk. This in return will reduce the risk rating of the activity and keep your employees informed of what additional controls you have put in place to ensure their safety.