Evaluate risks in systematic work environment management
Assess the gravity of the risks
Regularly identifying work environment risks and evaluating the gravity of those risks is part of systematic work environment management. This takes place on a daily basis as part of ongoing activities. When work environment assessments and investigations into ill health, accidents and incidents have been undertaken and work environment risks have been identified, or employees/students have identified and highlighted risks that cannot be remedied immediately, these should be documented and assessed in terms of risk. The assessment of the risks’ gravity should be undertaken through a collaboration between the employer and employees/students. The risk assessment helps us prioritise the order in which we need to remedy the risks and how quickly we need to remedy them.
The risk assessment should look at the probability that ill health or an accident will occur and what consequences there will be if the risk becomes reality. This then forms the basis of the gravity of the risk. It is not uncommon for opinion to be divided as to what constitutes a serious risk. Remember that this is a subjective assessment, so try to incorporate everyone’s opinions. A risk matrix may help when assessing risks.
There are two different templates at Uppsala University that can be used as support when producing documentation. The first contains a risk assessment using a risk matrix while the other contains a risk assessment in which the gravity of the risk is assessed as either low, moderate or high. Whichever template is used, the probability of ill health or an accident occuring if the risk is realised and the consequences of that risk being realised are to be weighted when the gravity of the risk is assessed.
If the department/equivalent uses the University’s template plan for systematic work environment management (or the plan for systematic work environment and equal opportunities management if the department/equivalent undertakes integrated management on these issues), the work environment risks identified and the risk assessment are to be documented directly in the risk assessment template and the action plan included in the plan. It is also possible to insert the documentation into the department’s/equivalent plan later. Having an action plan as a basis can make things easier and help to easily detect whether the identified risks have already been documented in the action plan before.
Risk assessment prior to changes
The risk assessment should be carried out before any changes are made to activities. The result can also easily be inserted, if desired, into the department's/equivalent plan for systematic work environment management – as described above – in order to have an action plan to use as a basis and to easily identify whether the identified risks are already included in the department’s/equivalent plan for systematic work environment management.
Risk management in laboratory work
It is important to manage risks when working in a laboratory.