A plant risk assessment is an inspection procedure where a plant that is currently running production machinery and industrial equipment is inspected from head to toe by a certified plant risk management officer. The purpose behind it is to identify not the shortcomings of the foreman but the potential hazards that the site poses to the workers. The usage of heavy tools and industrial equipment can be taken for granted but they tend to wear out over time, equipment can fail, and an exposed electrical wire may be overlooked. OHS (occupational health and safety) inspectors ensure the safety of all workers by implementing standardized risk inspection and assessment procedures. If not for plant risk assessment, hazardous accidents, maiming and even death can occur due to faulty equipment or malpractice. This can in turn be taken to courts where plant management will be held responsible for legal offences. Plant Risk assessments has more information regarding this subject.
A proper plant risk assessment involves the careful inspection of the entire plant in question, including its equipment that is used, the condition of the equipment, the established practices of the employees and their safety management to identify the potential risks that exist and pose a direct threat to the wellbeing and safety of the employees. If the assessment is to be comprehensive, the employees of the plant must also be spoken to, from the supervisors to the machinery operators to ensure that there are no loopholes that are being exploited in the workplace that are hazardous and could lead to greater accidents. A plant risk assessment will often include some or all the following – a thorough inspection of the machinery that is in use and the way they are used, the materials used in the process, and the identification of wear and tear on critical components of the machinery. It also includes employee training and the identification of unsafe workplace practices. Some equipment that might be inspected would include – scaffolding, cranes, explosive equipment, turbines, and temporary access equipment to name a few.
Ultimately, a plant risk assessment can help save lives at the workplace. They can minimize the number of accidents that take place and improve the overall safety of the workplace. It can help with understanding if employees are currently sufficiently trained to take care of themselves and not put their colleagues at risk due to accidents. It can also help understand if the current management can deal with serious hazards, as at a larger scale it is the plant management that is responsible for the lives of the employees. The plant risk assessment also identifies how regularly a piece of equipment or machinery is serviced or replaced and ensures that they are checked and inspected. As a result, the chances of error in the machinery decreases leading to a safer workplace.
In summation, plant risk assessment should not be considered a chore but a necessary inspection to ensure the lives of a plant’s employees. By following proper safety practices, a plant ensures that it is setting the standard for its competitors and contributes to a safer, healthier industry.