In the Module 1 you got familiar with the concept and definitions of risk and hazard.
This brings you closer to getting to know about some principles of risk management.
Usually, this is not something that you as a worker performing cleaning tasks will be involved in designing.
Rather you will be executing or implementing instructions created in the whole process of risk management.
There is a whole methodology, involving e.g. the Deming Cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act approach) to design the risk management process.
In simple words, it is a cyclic process that involves examining different characteristics of the workplace and working environment in order to identify what can go wrong and what can be done to prevent injuries and ill-health.
The Figure 1 shows how this approach may look like. As you can see, there are three important elements in it: risk analysis, risk assessment and risk control. There are professionals who do this on behalf of the company and provide instructions and training to workers on safety and health at workplace.
Fig. 1. Risk management.
It is very important to know what risks and hazards can be encountered at specific workplaces or in specific environments to put them under control to avoid health risk and ill-health among staff. Another important issue is active involvement of the whole workforce in the company in risk management process.
In this module we will skip elements of risk analysis and risk assessment and will explain you the component of risk control.
In the Module 1 you read about the Framework Directive (Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work).
The Directive sets out a list of employers’ obligations, but also it specifies obligations of workers.
This is something worth remembering – not only employers have obligations.
The whole Article 13 of the Framework Directive is about that issue.
It directly says that it is “responsibility of each worker to take care as far as possible of his own safety and health and that of other persons […] at work in accordance with his training and the instructions given by his employer”.
Please note the phrasing “training and the instructions given by employers”, which means that you should be trained and instructed by employer in regards occupational safety and health.
Think about it:
Do you know who in your company is responsible for risk management?