Employers have a legal responsibility to identify hazards and control risks before they can cause harm. Risk management is the process of:
- Identifying hazards
- Assessing the risk of harm from those hazards
- Introducing controls needed to eliminate or reduce the risk
Under the law, employers must eliminate or reduce risks so that workers have the highest level of safety reasonably practicable.
Hierarchy of Control
Any health and safety risk identified should be managed using the hierarchy of control. This is a method for controlling hazards that can be used for minimising any risk. It aims to provide the highest level of protection, that is reasonably practicable. It is designed to work through from the highest level of protection to the lowest using the following steps:
- Engineering controls
- Personal protective equipment
Although risk management is the duty of the employer, workers are critical to the process. You or your Health and Safety Representative must be consulted throughout the risk management process.
If you believe your employer is not managing health and safety risks adequately, contact your union.
Funding for this factsheet was provided by:
- the Victorian Government as part of the uTech project; and
- the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Please note that the information given here is general information only and is not legal advice. For further assistance, it is recommended you speak to your union.