Health and Safety Risk Management

Health and Safety Theories
6th Jun 2018
Risk Management
14th Mar 2019
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Health and Safety Risk Management

What risk is?
Risk is the chance or probability that a person will be harmed or experience an adverse health effect if exposed to a hazard. It may also apply to situations with property or equipment loss, or harmful effects on the environment.



Two aspects of risks are considered when defining a risk, namely frequency and severity, describe them?
Frequency is how many times the actual event occurs, for example a workshop employee fell on the floor because the floor was oily, and not properly cleaned by cleaners, and a employee slip again at the same place due to the same problem. Severity is how bad the damage is or the extend of the loss of damage. In the event that a car slip on the oily floor and damage another car or injured an employee then we can say the cost of the damage (Car) and loss of injury.

Classification Risk
We get two types of risk, namely Pure Risk and Speculative Risk
What is Pure Risk:

Pure risk, also known as absolute risk, is a category of hazard in which the outcomes are a loss or no loss, and there is no opportunity for gain. Examples of pure risk situations include premature death, identity theft, and career-ending disabilities. There are products available to mitigate pure risk hazards, such as homeowners insurance, which helps protect homeowners against the destruction of their homes.

Risk examples:
  • Fire
  • Crime
  • Natural disasters
  • Environmental impacts
  • Occupational diseases
  • Product and contract liabilities


  • What is Speculative Risk:

    Speculative risk is a category of risk that, when undertaken, results in an uncertain degree of gain or loss. All speculative risks are made as conscious choices and are not just a result of uncontrollable circumstances. With a speculative risk, there is some chance of either a gain or a loss. Therefore, speculative risk is the opposite of pure risk, which is the possibility of only a loss and no possible gain. Speculative risk examples:

  • New products
  • New product procedures
  • Change of suppliers
  • New trade restrictions
  • New market conditions

  • Risk control measures:
    Risk control measures include actions that can be taken to reduce the potential of exposure to the hazard, or the control measure could be to remove the hazard or to reduce the likelihood of the risk of the exposure to that hazard being realised. A simple control measure would be the secure guarding of moving parts of machinery eliminating the potential for contact. When we look at control measures we often refer to the hierarchy of control measures.

    For effective risk control measures they have to be;
    1. Compatible with other organizational objectives
    2. Appropriate and relevant
    3. Relative to other measures
    4. Applied at the appropriate stage
    5. Must be flexible
    6. Capable of gradual response – for those that have a gradual onset
    7. Intergrade with other forms and levels of protection.

    Risk control techniques and options:
    Control measures include actions that can be taken to reduce the potential of exposure to the hazard, or the control measure could be to remove the hazard or to reduce the likelihood of the risk of the exposure to that hazard being realised.

    There are four main techniques to control risk:

    1. Risk avoidance:
    Many times it is not possible to completely avoid risk but the possibility should not be overlooked. For example, at the height of a thunderstorm, Physical Plant may not release vehicles for travel until the weather begins to clear, thus avoiding the risk of auto accidents during severe weather. Some buildings on campus have had repeated water problems in some areas. By not allowing storage of records or supplies in those areas, some water damage claims may be avoided.

    2. Risk elimination: Risk avoidance is the elimination of hazards, activities and exposures that can negatively affect an organization's assets. Whereas risk management aims to control the damages and financial consequences of threatening events, risk avoidance seeks to avoid compromising events entirely. Such as safe work procedures, eliminates unsafe acts, thus proper training is given to avoid accidents or injuries.

    3. Risk reduction: When risk cannot be avoided, the effect of loss can often be minimized in terms of frequency and severity. For example, Risk Management encourages the use of security devices on certain audio visual equipment to reduce the risk of theft. The University requires the purchase of health insurance by students who are studying abroad, so that they might avoid the risk of financial difficulty, should they incur medical expenses in another country.

    4. Risk transfer: In some cases risk can be transferred to others, usually by contract. When outside organizations use University facilities for public events, they must provide evidence of insurance and name the University as an additional insured under their policy, thereby transferring the risk of the event from the University to the facility user. The purchase of insurance is also referred to as a risk transfer since the policy actually shifts the financial risk of loss, contractually, from the insured entity to the insurance company. Insurance should be the last option and used only after all other techniques have been evaluated.

    Risk control areas
    Every business or organization is exposed to risk, whether you are in service, or manufacturing. Control areas include actions that can be taken to reduce the potential of exposure to the hazard, or the control measure could be to remove the hazard or to reduce the likelihood of the risk of the exposure to that hazard being realised.

    Let’s look as some areas:
  • Suppliers – Fail to supply the product, or supply incorrect product and late delivery has an impact on the control area.
  • Service Provider – Fail to provide service lead to inferior service.
  • Plant and equipment – Breakdowns, theft, and malicious damage to the machines.
  • Labour force – Strikes, riots, work stoppages, injuries and illnesses.

  • Many risk control measures are prescribed by law. Below is 5 acts that apply:

    1. Occupational health and safety act No 85 of 1993 To provide for the health and safety of persons at work and for the health and safety of persons in connection with the use of plant and machinery; the protection of persons other than persons at work against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work; to establish an advisory council for occupational health and safety; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

    2. Compensation for occupational injuries and diseases act No 130 of 1993 The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, No 130 of 1993 (COIDA) provides for compensation for disablement caused by occupational injuries or diseases sustained or contracted by employees in the course of their employment, or for death resulting from such injuries or diseases.

    3. Hazardous substance act No 15 of 1973 To provide for the control of substances which may cause injury or ill-health to or death of human beings by reason of their toxic, corrosive, irritant, strongly sensitizing or flammable nature or the generation of pressure thereby in certain circumstances, and for the control of certain electronic products; to provide for the division of such substances or products into groups in relation to the degree of danger; to provide for the prohibition and control of the importation, manufacture, sale, use, operation, application, modification, disposal or dumping of such substances and products; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

    4. Mine health and safety act No 29 of 1996 To provide for protection of the health and safety of employees and other persons at mines and, for that purpose-- to promote a culture of health and safety;
    to provide for the enforcement of health and safety measures;
    to provide for appropriate systems of employee, employer and State participation in health and safety matters;
    to establish representative tripartite institutions to review legislation, promote health and enhance properly targeted research;
    to provide for effective monitoring systems and inspections, investigations and inquiries to improve health and safety;
    to promote training and human resources development;
    to regulate employers' and employees' duties to identify hazards and eliminate, control and minimise the risk to health and safety;
    to entrench the right to refuse to work in dangerous conditions; and
    to give effect to the public international law obligations of the Republic relating to mining health and safety;
    and to provide for matters connected therewith.

    5. National building regulations and building standards act No 103 of 1977 To provide for the promotion of uniformity in the law relating to the erection of buildings in the areas of jurisdiction of local authorities s; for the prescribing of building standards; and for matters connected therewith.

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