How often should risk assessments be reviewed?

A common question associated with machine safety is, how often does the machine’s risk assessment need to be reviewed? In the past each state and territory had its own Act, Regulations and Code of Practice, which had slightly different requirements. Some legislation, such as NSW Regulations 2001, states that some risk assessments should be reviewed every 5 years. Another document released by the Queensland government titled “Guide to Safeguarding common Machinery & Plant” indicated that risk management should be reviewed once every 12 months.

The national Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation was planned to remove these differences by providing a uniform set of Act, Regulations and Code of Practice for all states and territories. Unfortunately this hasn't been adopted by all states this year. The following guidance comes from the Safe Work Australia Code of Practice, “How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks.”

The process of Risk Management, which includes risk assessment, is an ongoing process that may be triggered when:
  • Starting a new business
  • Changing work practices, procedures
  • Purchasing new equipment
  • New information on risks becomes available
  • An incident occurs
  • Workers, health and safety representative or others raise concerns
  • WHS regulation specify the need for specific hazards
My question would be; if none of the above events occur, when should the existing risk controls be reviewed?


James Davis said...

With the information collected with workplace safety incidents, (Not necessarily lost time incidents). There should be some kind of annual review for risk assessments.

5 years seems like far to long if you are been pro-active about workplace safety.

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Alistair Keenan said...

I thinks that Risk Assessments definitely need to be constantly reviewed particularly after any intervention with the machine i.e major service and or breakdown, also of course as any changes are made to production or the engineering component. It is a lifecylcle process and perhaps as maintenance should be scheduled so to should a review of the RA.

Alistair Keenan said...

Risk assessments should be reviewed as a scheduled maintenance type service - as with maintenance all we are doing is checking that everything is as it should be so why not a Risk Assessment.

Plano Electrician said...

Anyone who deals with technical jobs and machines is at risk. Regular risk assessment and constant updates to improve the workplace should be done.

Home Security Expert said...

I agree. It is an ongoing process but where I work we have monthly and quarterly reviews.


Published: 19 November 2012