I often get asked what is “reasonably practicable” risk management? The new WHS Act and Regulations require persons who have a duty to ensure health and safety to “manage risks” by eliminating health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable, and if it is not “reasonably practicable” to do so, to minimise those risks so far as is “reasonably practicable”.
How do I weigh up what is “reasonably practicable” for my business to protect my people from harm?
To work out what is “reasonably practicable” risk management your business has to take into account and weigh up factors by asking questions like:
- What is the likelihood of the hazard or risk concerned occurring in my business?
- What harm to my people may result from the hazard or risk?
- What knowledge does my business have about the hazard or risk and what ways is my business aware of to eliminate or minimising the risk?
- Are the ways to eliminate or minimise the risk available and suitable to my business?
- Is the cost of eliminating or minimising the risk grossly disproportionate to the risk?
Source Document: Code Of Practice: How To Manage Work Health And Safety Risks 2011
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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