Compiling a list of workplace hazards and risks can be a very intimidating and daunting task for even the most experienced Health & Safety Professional. If you're currently involved in or pursuing certification in programs like ISO 45001 or COR, you know that assessment of hazards and risks in your organization is a critical component of a functional Health & Safety Management System. Even if you aren't currently involved in either of these paths, a Hazard and Risk Registry is a very powerful tool and resource to help you achieve success with your Health & Safety Objectives.
One of the trickiest elements of establishing your Hazard and Risk Registry is getting buy-in and assistance from the experts on the shop floor. There's almost always a disconnect or gap that we need to overcome internally, where the OHS Professional has knowledge and experience in the assessment of risk, and the shop floor Workers and Supervisors have intimate knowledge of their tasks and the inherent hazards. Closing this gap and creating a robust registry will require training and growth for both parties - the shop floor experts will require instruction on how to assess risk and use your registry template, and the H&S Professional will have to increase their presence in the field. This is not just learning the processes and tasks being performed, but building rapport and relationships with the workforce.
The Leadership Team will also need to play a key role in the development and implementation of your registry program. They will need to champion your organization's objectives and culture though leading by example, as well as acting as liaisons, sounding boards, and mediators when challenges occur.
Your Leaders will be able to assist your H&S Team by encouraging support from the shop floor by explaining that the Senior Leadership Team cares about everyone's safety, and that having an up to date and functional Risk Registry will make easier to develop Job Hazard Analysis sheets, saving the Supervisors and Project Managers valuable time at the planning and beginning stages of new projects or tasks. Your Project Team will be able to use the registry to access common tasks to populate the required JHAs, and your Supervisors will save time during their daily Field Level Risk Assessments by not having to identify and assess the same task-specific hazards every shift. Your prepopulated JHAs can be communicated during Orientations or as a Supervisor identifies a need to recommunicate to Workers.
Remember that your Hazard & Risk Registry, like your JHAs, are a living document and can be modified as your organization changes scope and direction. You can always add or remove tasks, or redo your assessments when tools, equipment, or safe work practices change.