Safemech has a lot of experience of making risk assessments for machinery and work equipment. We have a
developed a system and template which we find works well for most industrial equipment.
We often find that because of our experience, we can make excellent risk assessments in a fraction of the time
taken by a company's own employees with considerable consequent savings.
A Risk Assessment is a formal analysis of the hazards presented by a machine and the risks that
those hazards present. It identifies measures required or used to reduce the risks to acceptable levels. Risks
can be prioritised for action.
European standard EN12100:2010 Risk Assessment and Reduction defines the general principles to be used in risk
assessment. It provides a useful framework and context within which risk assessments can be made.
An important part of risk assessment which is often neglected is placing the use of the equipment "in context".
It is very important that intended users, environment in which the equipment will be used, intended service life
etc, are considered and documented.
There are many different systems used for risk assessment but all essentially involve indentifying hazards and
then scoring the level of risk which they present. If the risk score is too high, then measures must be taken to
reduce the risk. The ideal, is to design the hazard right out in the first place, but if this is not possible,
guarding or other physical measures will be required. If guarding is not possible, PPE or warning signs could be
used, but these are a last resort.
Failure Mode Effect Analysis FMEA (bottom up) or Fault Tree Analysis FTA (top down) are useful tools in
conjunction with a risk analysis to identify potential causes of problems.
In the UK, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 give you a mandatory duty to carry out
risk assessments for all work equipment and processes.