Plant Risk Assessment Guides

Avoiding Risk Assessment Pitfalls

Avoiding Risk Assessment Pitfalls

 

WHAT IS A PLANT RISK ASSESSMENT (PRA)?

 

A PRA involves a comprehensive inspection of a piece of plant or equipment to ensure it is safe for use.

 

HOW DO I DO A PLANT RISK ASSESSMENT?

 

Traditionally, Plant Risk Assessments are conducted using a 4 step process:

 

If an error or oversight is made in Steps 1 to 3, this is likely to lead to fundamental flaws in the Plant Risk Assessment.

 

WHAT ARE THE PITFALLS WHEN CONDUCTING PLANT RISK ASSESSMENTS?

 

  • Poor knowledge of the plant being assessed & its functions
  • Poor understanding of hazards present
  • Poor understanding of the risk analysis/evaluation process
  • Poor understanding of the controls required on particular types of plant
  • Inconsistently identifying hazards, assessing risks and specifying controls
  • Failure to implement controls required by the PRA
  • PRAs incomprehensible, misunderstood and unusable in the field
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HOW TO AVOID THE PITFALLS OF PLANT RISK ASSESSMENT


The Show Stopper: Plant Safety Knowledge

 

The most fundamental knowledge requirement is knowledge of the plant itself. In simple terms, if an assessor does not have a comprehensive knowledge of the plant and how it works, there is no way they will be able to competently undertake a Plant Risk Assessment.

 

There is no way around this requirement. If you don’t know the plant, you should not attempt to conduct a Plant Risk Assessment.


Managable Pitfalls: Systemising the Plant Risk Assessment Process

 

The balance of the pitfalls can be managed by following a systematic approach to the Plant Risk Assessment process.
A systematic approach must aim to institutionalise the knowledge required to consistently and thoroughly follow the risk assessment plan for plant.

 

This is achieved by providing a structured process which includes sufficient guidance to assessors to reduce subjectivity, inconsistency and incompleteness.

 

Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information. 

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