The main objective of risk assessment is to determine the measures required by the organization to comply with the relevant health and safety legislation and, thereby, decrease the level of the occupational injuries and the ill health.
The goal is to help the employer or the self-employed person to define the measures required to comply with their legal statutory duty under the HSW Act 1974 or its associated Regulations. The risk assessment will need to cover all those who may be at the risks, such as the customers, the contractors and the members of the public.
In the case of shared workplaces, the overall risk assessment may be needed in the partnership with the other employers.
The important distinction between the direct and indirect costs of the accidents is reiterated here. Any accident or the incidence of ill health will cause both the direct and the indirect costs and incur an insured and uninsured cost.
It is necessary that all of these costs are taken into account when the full cost of the accident is estimated. In a study undertaken by the HSE, it was shown that the indirect costs or the hidden costs could be 36 times greater than the direct costs of the accident.
In other words, the direct costs of the accident or the disease represent the tip of the iceberg when compared with the overall costs ( The Cost of Accidents at Work HSG96).
The Direct costs are the costs that are directly associated with the accident. They may be insured (claims on employers ’ and public liability insurance, the damage to buildings, the equipment or the vehicles) or the uninsured (fines, sick pay, the damage to the product, equipment or the process).
The Indirect costs may be insured (business loss, the product or the process liability) or the uninsured (loss of goodwill, the extra overtime payments, the accident investigation time, the production delays).
There are the many reasons for the seriousness of the hazard not to be obvious to the person exposed to it. It may be that the hazard is not visible (radiation, certain gases, and biological agents) or have no short-term effect (work-related upper limb disorders).
The common reasons include lack of the attention, lack of the experience, the wearing of PPE, sensory impairment and the inadequate information, instruction and the training.