Why are risk assessments important?
This is something we are often asked by our clients. The obvious answer is that they are important because failing to do them leaves you vulnerable to criminal liability as they are an absolute legal requirement (ie an employer is not allowed to make a cost/risk analysis before deciding whether to do them or not). However, there are other reasons why they are so important, and the main one is that the processs of risk assessment enables you to look ahead at what could go wrong before it actually has, and then to take measure to stop it from going wrong, or at least reducing the chances of failure, or the impact of any thing that does go wrong. They can also be important when demonstrating to your teams that you value their health, wellbeing and safety as you are taking proactive measures to reduce injury.
For those of you who are developing your safety culture, involving your teams in the assessment process produces significant gains in understanding and ownership of the problems, and hence the solutions.