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Occupational risk assessments

Proper assessment and documentation of occupational risks are crucial to the maintenance of occupational health and safety, the application of preventive measures, hazard prevention, the development of appropriate training programmes, appropriate information policy and safe work organisation.

General rules for preventing work-related accidents and diseases

Employers must assess and documents occupational risks associated with the work performed and apply necessary preventive measures to reduce these risks. Their obligations also include informing workers about the occupational risks associated with the work performed and about the rules of protection against hazards.

Employers must fulfil the obligation to ensure occupational health and safety in the workplace primarily by preventing hazards resulting from the work performed, appropriately organising work, applying necessary preventive measures and providing information and training to workers.

The main tasks aimed at preventing work-related accidents and diseases that must be performed by employers are:

  • preventing hazards;
  • assessing risks that cannot be excluded;
  • eliminating hazards at source;
  • adjusting working conditions and work processes to workers’ abilities, in particular by:
    • appropriately designing and organising workstations;
    • selecting machines, technical devices and work tools;
    • selecting production methods and working methods – taking into account whether work is made less arduous;
    • reducing monotonous work and work at a predetermined work-rate;
    • reducing the adverse impact of monotonous work on workers’ health;
  • applying new technological solutions;
  • replacing dangerous technological processes, devices, substances and other materials with safe or less dangerous ones;
  • giving priority to collective protective equipment over personal protective equipment;
  • instructing workers on occupational health and safety.

Elements of occupational risk assessments and aims of preventive measures

Employers must assess occupational risks in particular when selecting:

  • equipment for workstations and workplaces;
  • the chemical substances and preparations to be used;
  • the biological, carcinogenic and mutagenic substances to be used;
  • the ways in which work is to be organised and performed;
  • other working environment factors.

Preventive measures, working methods and work organisation applied following occupational risk assessments should:

  • improve the safety and health protection of workers;
  • be integrated with employers’ activities at all the levels of the organisational structure of establishments.

Documentation of risk assessments and preventive measures

Employers must document occupational risk assessments and the preventive measures applied. A document confirming that an occupational risk assessment has been performed should include in particular:

  • a description of the workstation assessed, specifying:
    • the machines, tools and materials used;
    • the tasks performed;
    • the hazardous, harmful and nuisance working environment factors present at the workstation;
    • the collective and personal protective equipment used;
    • the persons working at that workstation;
  • the results of the occupational risk assessment for each of the working environment factors and preventive measures necessary to reduce the risk;
  • the date of the assessment and the details of the persons who performed it.

Important! A confirmation that a worker has been informed about occupational risks should be included in part B of the personal file.

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