Modern workplaces are safer than they have ever been. However, they are by no means free of accidents and hazards. Sometimes those risks emerge due to negligence; other times they arise from simple mistakes or happenstance. Regardless of the source of a particular risk, quickly identifying and correcting it is important. For that, a hazard checklist form can be helpful.
Hazard Reporting in the Workplace
If someone gets hurt on the job, it can spell trouble for all involved parties. Obviously, the injured party could have major health issues to deal with. The employer may also find itself in legal through civil cases and/or regulatory action. Therefore, every business should actively try to identify and mitigate risks. Not only is this the ethical thing to do, but it is also smart business.
One of the best ways to identify risks is to encourage team members to report hazards they notice. Having a clear framework for doing so not only makes it easier to report a risk but also indicates to team members that management is paying attention.
The Value of a Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Form
With the right hazard identification and risk assessment form, you can improve the safety of your workplace. These are some of the key benefits:
- Identify Hazards: Most importantly, the form is a simple way to identify hazards in the workplace. Often, the people working in a specific area have unique insights about its safety. It also gets team members to more thoroughly assess situations looking for issues.
- Encourage Culture of Safety: A hazard assessment checklist can encourage the whole team to think about safety more often. Vigilance is one of the most important elements of improving overall safety.
- Simplify Reporting: Making it easy for team members to report hazards encourages them to do so more often. Easier reporting also reduces mistakes and accelerates the report timeline.
- Streamline Response: Similarly, a consistent hazard identification and risk assessment form means that management can respond more easily to each report. A streamlined response process reduces the risk posed by the reported hazard.
- Option for Multiple Form Types: With a well-organized system, it is possible to have multiple form options. For example, you may want to have a separate manual handling hazard identification and risk assessment checklist because manual handling of materials deserves special attention.
What Should Be on Your Hazard Assessment Checklist
The specifics of what should be included on the assessment checklist and report form depend on the nature of your workplace and the types of hazards that could be encountered. For a report, you should include the name of the reporter, a description of the hazard, the date and a list of the actions that have been taken so far.
Assessment checklists are a little different. They should be tailored to each work setting and the relevant known hazards. For example, this may include checking safety equipment, examining the work area for any visible hazards, ensuring that all lighting is functioning and similar assessment items. You may have a checklist for regular hazard assessment and another for post-incident assessments.
Adding a Daily Hazard Assessment
It is often a good idea to have a daily hazard assessment process. This could be running through a checklist to ensure the work area is as safe as possible. It may also include checking in with team members to identify, discuss and report any concerns or hazards.
As with having a good reporting process, implementing daily assessments helps to encourage a culture of safety. It gets people thinking about safety more actively. It also lets employees know that they will be heard if they choose to speak up, a worry that can discourage people from reporting issues.
These should not be the only assessments you use, especially if you are in a dangerous industry. While team members should be staying vigilant and assessing their own work areas, they may miss hazards that they have simply gotten accustomed to. Audits, ideally by an independent third party, can help significantly with improving safety.
The Importance of Proper Hazard Report Response
Using a hazard checklist form and having regular assessments can help with improving the safety of your workplace. However, these will not have much of an impact if your management team fails to address issues when they are reported.
Therefore, as important as the forms and checklists themselves is the process for managing them. Typically, the best systems are digital and built around the workflow needed to review reports and then plan, approve and execute relevant changes.
Consider what is supposed to happen when you receive a report from a team member. Who first processes the report? When it is processed, how can a plan for appropriate changes be implemented? Depending on the nature of your workplace, you may need to have different workflows for various urgency levels. A concern that doesn’t present an immediate threat can be addressed over time, whereas an immediately dangerous one may require a shutdown until it is corrected.
Improve Your Safety Management With Fluix
Whatever your safety needs, it is easier to manage the forms and documentation with Fluix. This document management platform can help you to create, share and organize all your safety documents. Conduct inspections and audits, collect reports, plan responses and more with Fluix. The platform is mobile-ready and lets you map your workflows to ensure that everyone gets the right information at the right time. Check Fluix out today and see if it is the right solution for your business.