Why? It is a legal obligation for the employer (Article 16 of the Occupational Risk Prevention Law). What is it for? Risk assessment is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end: to control the risks to avoid damages to the health derived from the work (accidents and professional illnesses) saving social and economic costs to the country and its own company. Who has to do it?
They can perform the risk assessment:
• The entrepreneur himself.
• Company workers appointed by the employer.
• Own Prevention Services.
• External Prevention Services.
The employer must decide who will carry out the risk assessment, although the selection must be carried out in consultation with the workers and / or their representatives.
In any case, the employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring the safety and health of the workers of his company.
When is it to be done?
From the entry into force of Law 31/1995, of November 8, Prevention of Occupational Risks. The risk assessment should be extended, initially, to the entire company.
Subsequently, it must be carried out in the jobs that are affected by:
• Modifications in work equipment, chemical substances or preparations, or conditioning of workplaces.
• A change in working conditions.
• The incorporation of a worker whose personal characteristics or known biological status
make it especially sensitive to the conditions of the position.
How is it done?
There are different ways to carry out a risk assessment, many of them are contained in specific regulations; In other cases, INSHT can provide you with different methodologies designed and validated for it and inform you of which one may be the most suitable according to the activity of your company.
Can I do it myself?
Anyone who performs a risk assessment of a company should have knowledge of the following aspects:
• Characteristics of workplaces, concrete activities carried out by workers, chemical substances, tools, machines, facilities and transport systems used in the company, as well as knowledge about their properties and state and about the instructions for their management.
• Knowledge of the different risks existing in the sector of activity in question, their most common causes and their most likely effects.
• Legal requirements and provisions, regulations and norms related to the sector to which your company belongs.
In many cases, the employer with the help of those workers who have knowledge and experience in these matters, and being advised by the appropriate organizations, can perform the risk assessment of your company. However, in other cases where activities are carried out in the company or equipment or products are used whose risks are relatively difficult to assess if specialized knowledge or technical means are not available, because specific analyzes or measurements are required, it will be necessary to resort to to external services.
In any case, the small or medium-sized entrepreneur has certain advantages for carrying out the risk assessments by himself, among them is the precise knowledge of the activities, organization and means of his own company and the fact that the risks are quite common in the same sector of activity and should be known by the entrepreneur.