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Mark-W  
#1 Posted : 04 September 2019 11:55:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

At 1 of my clients we recently had an assessor come and visit from our insurance company.

It was a good exercise and with a fresh set of eyes found a few areas where we could be better.

He has stated that we must have a risk matrix rather than a L-M-H rating with control measues. I'm arguing that the HSE doesn't have a risk matrix on any example on the HSE website. But we'll see how that goes.

Also a comment he has made is the following

Evaluating the likelihood and severity of an event should be based on an understanding of the hazards of the machinery used or task undertaken, together with reference to past incidences or known trends within the industry. The asessment and scoring should ideally be done by more than one person.

My thought process is that I'm writing a specific RA for my equipment with my staff. What other companies do or don't do will affect industry trends but why should it impact on the risk rating of my RA. I look at the risks involved and mitigate them. If I use stats from others then my own judgement may be swayed or skewed.

Is my thought process correct? How many of you look at industry trends when writing a RA?

thanks 2 users thanked Mark-W for this useful post.
Kim Hedges on 04/09/2019(UTC), SJP on 05/09/2019(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#2 Posted : 04 September 2019 12:13:59(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

The HSE doesn't even have L-M-H. http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/casestudies/index.htm

Your second point is a little less black and white. It really depends on the nature of the industry (in my opinion). I am with you on this one though. Surely we (as professionals) already call on our knowledge of past incidences and known trends within the relavant industries when we do our risk assessments. This is what we are employed for! We don't work in a vaccuum. But it is much more important to look at your risk assessments individually. Going beyond differences in staff, you also have differences in workspace layout, lighting etc to deal with. What may be safe for one company could be deadly for another.

As for more than one person. It would depend on resources. Surely we already communicate with staff when carrying out risk assessments? Isn't this enough? Scoring isn't obligatory, so it is all about ensuring consultation with staff to identify the hazards.

So in summary. I think your thought process is correct, however. I use industry trends (from knowledge and experience) when conducting my assessments. I would never let them drive that assessment, just guide me in certain directions. I normally am more interested in the controls used within my industry than the hazards identified. (what sort of lifting equipment is used etc.)

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Mark-W on 04/09/2019(UTC)
O'Donnell54548  
#3 Posted : 04 September 2019 12:18:23(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
O'Donnell54548

The process he describes, where industry trends are part of the assessment rating, is standard for many insurance companies when evaluating your premiums and cover. 

thanks 1 user thanked O'Donnell54548 for this useful post.
Mark-W on 04/09/2019(UTC)
mihai_qa  
#4 Posted : 04 September 2019 12:20:38(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
mihai_qa

Hi,

Check the auditor's background, he might be coming from process safety, with full QRA's, where often times statistical evidence is used.

Without such exterior information and statistics a risk matrix based RA will still be qualitative despite the "theory" as you'll use subjective knowledge and experience to come up with the numbers.

Personally I kind of hope some of the process safety rubs off on OHS, but I believe that's a long way away. Even in your current L-M-H you still use "What If" and similar process approaches, so I'm not sure why he would focus on a matrix based RA, perhaps a habit or a preference.

What's your line of work?  

I use agricultural worldwide statistics and try to keep up to date with industry trends. Chances are, that if people get crushed to death while driving ATV's in Australia and New Zealand (in alarming numbers), it might be a good idea to reconsider our farm transport.

I also keep an eye on MSDs and WRULDs in the food manufacturing industry and do regular ergonomics assesments including taking into consideration workforce differences (EU vs South Asia for example). This helps us tweak the height of workstations, positioning, twisting, etc.

You won't just use the stats, your collective input will still be valid. Just because dust explosions are rare, that doesn't mean we can't use the CSB's (Chemical Safety Board) videos and statistics to help us in our Planned preventive maintenance and housekeeping practices in Feed Mill.

Good advice from your assesor, kind of rare if I'm being honest. 

Good luck,

Mihai

Edited by user 04 September 2019 12:21:55(UTC)  | Reason: Engrish

thanks 1 user thanked mihai_qa for this useful post.
Mark-W on 04/09/2019(UTC)
Mark-W  
#5 Posted : 04 September 2019 12:46:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

Client is tyre recycling, so shredding and baling. There aren't that many companies in the UK that do this sort of work. In fact we've just sold the majority of our shredding equipment and heavily invested in baling equipment.

Roundtuit  
#6 Posted : 04 September 2019 13:18:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Ignoring the matrix question as I believe there are enough posts already debating the relative merits - at the start of my employment the Paper and Board Industry Advisory Committee (PABIAC) was the go to source for published safety information in the days before the internet but it took a lot of industry commitment to support such activity.

Then if you look to the general notification of incidents there are often common themes e.g. baling equipment with interlocks faulty/over riden or guards removed - you may be the better employer  it will not stop components failing but if correctly executed should prevent contractors removing and not replacing guards https://www.shponline.co.uk/in-court/enva-toomebridge-limited-fined-after-workers-foot-trapped-for-45-minutes/ 

Edited by user 04 September 2019 13:20:16(UTC)  | Reason: FFS

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Mark-W on 04/09/2019(UTC)
ttxela  
#7 Posted : 04 September 2019 14:15:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ttxela

We have a risk matrix dictated from head office that uses L-M-H for severity and L-M-H for likelihood with each weighted 1-2-3 and multipled together to give a rating.

I'm finding this a little odd since the form then states that anything scoring over 2 requires efforts to be made to reduce the risk, however for many things its going to be impossible to ever score less than 3. For instance a fall from a substantial height is always going to be a high in severity (3) and however unlikely it may be to occur the lowest likelihood score possible is 1 so whatever controls you put in place you'll always be compelled to look for more (and implement them within 6 months) according to the requirements of the form.....?

Kim Hedges  
#8 Posted : 04 September 2019 15:54:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kim Hedges

Using a threat assessment (LMH) really depends on how much your company and your insurance company want to dwell on the facts.  Perhaps they want a clearly auditable trail for the new ISO standard, which as I understand it, requires a clear auditable trail.  So this would be one more piece of paper to show as evidence, that somebody thought there was a risk and that the risk is manageable and 'we have done this....'  I've always gone by a pragmatic approach to work, if you have put in place control measures to reduce the risk altogether, then actually explain that in plain language 'We have done this...'   

RayRapp  
#9 Posted : 04 September 2019 20:28:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

The L/M/H risk rating is reality an 'idiot guide' arguably for non-safety personnel, so they have a better grasp of hazards and the risks emanating from them. I think there might have been case some years back but now people who work in industry have a much better awareness of safety than say 20/30 years ago. Most are fully aware of the hazards and the potential risks which make the risk rating virtually redundant - it has become little more than a necessary legal requirement.  

As for insurance assessors...I'll leave that one for the time being.

SNS  
#10 Posted : 04 September 2019 20:39:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
SNS

Originally Posted by: RayRapp Go to Quoted Post

The L/M/H risk rating is reality an 'idiot guide' arguably for non-safety personnel, so they have a better grasp of hazards and the risks emanating from them. I think there might have been case some years back but now people who work in industry have a much better awareness of safety than say 20/30 years ago. Most are fully aware of the hazards and the potential risks which make the risk rating virtually redundant - it has become little more than a necessary legal requirement. 


We are still using the residual rating as part of our improvement planning, limited money means reducing risks in a cost competetive environment can be making incremental improvements in a few, or wiping out 1.

O'Donnell54548  
#11 Posted : 05 September 2019 06:50:44(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
O'Donnell54548

Originally Posted by: ttxela Go to Quoted Post

We have a risk matrix dictated from head office that uses L-M-H for severity and L-M-H for likelihood with each weighted 1-2-3 and multipled together to give a rating.

I'm finding this a little odd since the form then states that anything scoring over 2 requires efforts to be made to reduce the risk, however for many things its going to be impossible to ever score less than 3. For instance a fall from a substantial height is always going to be a high in severity (3) and however unlikely it may be to occur the lowest likelihood score possible is 1 so whatever controls you put in place you'll always be compelled to look for more (and implement them within 6 months) according to the requirements of the form.....?


I disagree. For example a fall arrest lanyard will not prevent you from falling (reduce the likelihood) but will prevent you from hitting the ground (reduce the severity).

thanks 2 users thanked O'Donnell54548 for this useful post.
ttxela on 05/09/2019(UTC), mihai_qa on 05/09/2019(UTC)
hilary  
#12 Posted : 05 September 2019 07:09:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

We also have visits from the insurers and they have some weird and wonderful ideas as well.  Some are good and practical and are implemented, others are their personal preference and some are just pie in the sky.

With those that I disagree with I would compile a risk assessment pointing out the good points and the pitfalls and why this particular "idea" is not viable within our workplace.  If you feel that your views would be skewed by taking statistics or information from similar industries then you should state this in your risk assessment and how this scenario would come to pass.  We had a mandated system from our parent company of JHA+.  It listed hazards to look for and it made you blind to other hazards that might be present in the area but not written on the form. Too prescriptive.  I didn't use it and used a risk assessment to justify this decision.

As for the risk matrix - sometimes it's good to accept one thing so you can push back on another.  If he feels he has won a victory in one area then he will probably let you win the other one, but if you push back on everything he will dig his heels in.  Learn which battles to fight.

thanks 2 users thanked hilary for this useful post.
Mark-W on 05/09/2019(UTC), biker1 on 05/09/2019(UTC)
andybz  
#13 Posted : 05 September 2019 10:09:41(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
andybz

My interpretation of what was said by the insurance assessor was that he was
not clear on your process for deciding H-M-L and suggested a matrix would at
least allow you to illustrate how you came up with your answer. In particular,
was the risk dominated by consequence or likelihood? Also, he was concerned
that you were discounting types of accident because you thought they were not
possible, but have occurred in industry. The "it can't happen here
because" attitude is very common and is often very strong until it does
happen at the company.

I am a bit bemused by the idea that L/M/H is only an ‘idiot guide.’ The
whole purpose of risk assessment is to focus your efforts on the highest risks,
which requires ranking. How you determine the ranking maybe an issue, but the
ranking is absolutely fundamental.

As for controls changing severity, this has been debated many times and 90%+
people agree they change the likelihood only.

RayRapp  
#14 Posted : 05 September 2019 11:35:47(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Andy, the reality is most controls are standardised whether its asbestos, electricity, working at height, etc. As practitioners we are not writing bespoke RAs with the odd exception. So, asbestos would rank High, as would electricity, W@H and so on. We are only supposed to record the 'significant risks' therefore nearly all risks would rate as either Medium or High. Does the risk rating change any of the controls - I doubt it. 

Over the years I have reviewed many RAMS, most of which are copied and pasted. Generally the are pretty cr@p and add little value to the overall safety performance.

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