Learn about the importance of risk assessments and how the process of linking your legal requirements can bring a whole host of benefits.
What is a risk assessment / risk register?
A risk assessment is a process in which an employer, or someone competent appointed by an employer, will identify any hazards and evaluate the associated risks within a workplace. This type of risk assessment can be referred to as a HIRA (Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment).
In many countries around the world, such as in South Africa and the United Kingdom, this type of risk assessment is a legal requirement for employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees. When identifying hazards on site, it is helpful to break them down into broader categories.
Examples of some hazard identification categories are:
- Mechanical Hazards
- Non-Mechanical Hazards
- Chemical Hazards
- Physical Hazards
Another type of risk assessment that can be done, is to assess the various aspects of a business that can impact the environment. These are often referred to as AIR’s (Aspect and Impact Registers).
Environmental impacts can then be broken down into different categories:
- Air pollution
- Water Pollution
- Ground/land pollution
- Social Impacts
- Visual Impacts
You can also conduct various other risk assessments per legal domain such as Information Systems, Quality and Food Safety. Risk assessments are usually done in excel and look something like this:
Why are risk assessments important?
Having a documented risk assessment is required by law for any employer. Further to this, being able to identify potential hazards based on the activities within a business is the first step in being able to put control measures in place to avoid any disasters from happening. If there is an incident that occurs on site, one of the first things that the department will ask is if a risk assessment has been done.
It can end up being a costly lesson to learn for businesses if they have not conducted a risk assessment, or have failed to put the correct controls in place to mitigate risks. This lesson could be in the form of a fine/penalty, an action lawsuit that could lead to imprisonment, reputational damage, equipment damage, and can even deter future employees from wanting to work for your business.
Stage 1: Understand your consequences
Find out what the consequences of non-compliance are in relation to your applicable legal requirements. Solutions like Libryo can do this quickly for you, saving the process of trawling through legislation.
Once you’ve identified the potential risks within your business, how do you know what control measures you need to put in place to avoid these risks from occurring?
Stage 2: Link your risk assessment to your legal requirements
The next step in determining what control measures you should put in place to avoid operational risks from occurring, is to determine what is required by law. Linking your legal requirements to your operational risks is critical in demonstrating that you understand what steps to take by understanding the context of your business.
If your company is certified by a management system standard such as ISO, to maintain your certification you will be required to link your operational risks to your legal risks. This can be an extremely lengthy process, especially if there are multiple sections that can apply to an identified risk, impact or threat.
How Libryo helps you link your risk assessments
Here are some of the ways you can use Libryo to help with the process of linking your legal requirements to your risk assessment:
- Updated legal register
The manual process of linking your legal requirements to your operational risks can be extremely time consuming. By linking your risk assessment to your online legal register on Libryo, you can ensure that your legislation will automatically remain up-to-date and include all of the relevant changes. This is a huge time saver if you consider how long it would take to manually update the links to the law in your risk assessment, every time a change in law happens.
Libryo’s custom legal registers are structured in such a way that the law is tagged by different topics. These topics will show the different sections of law that apply to a particular area, matter, function, etc.
These topics are extremely helpful when linking your operational risks to the identified legal requirements as they will display all the relevant sections of law that apply on one page. For example, if you have identified all of the environmental impacts that could cause air pollution, simply make use of Libryo search, type in “Air Pollution” and click on the topic result.
This will display all applicable legislation dealing with air pollution. You can then copy and paste the URL into your excel document to demonstrate the link to the law.
Not only is the Libryo topic search a huge time saver but it groups all of your relevant legal requirements into one place for ease of reference.
Libryo’s documents module gives you the ability to upload your legally required compliance documents in one central location. These documents can then be accessed by the rest of your team who also have access to Libryo. You can store your risk assessments on Libryo in their own folder which makes it easy for an auditor to see everything in one place.
- Professional Services
Libryo professional services can help you link your legal requirements to your risk assessment or legal risk register using our fast and efficient linking tool. If your risk assessments are done in excel we can help you in just a few simple steps.