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Terms ''suitable and sufficient''

 

The term risk assessment is very open to interpretation and can cause a lot of uncertainty. It's intended to allow you some flexibility; a risk assessment doesn't have to be overcomplicated. Risk assessment should be suitable and sufficient. But what is meant by the terms ''suitable and sufficient''? These two terms are not defined in legislation. In order to have a better understanding of these terms we need to have a look at the dictionary descriptions.

'' suitable ''

  • Suitable for the desired purpose;
  • Meant or adapted for an occasion or use;
  • Appropriate for a condition or occasion.

                             

''sufficient''

  • Of a quantity that can fulfil a need or requirement but without being abundant.

                    

Suitable and sufficient risk assessment. When taking the above mentioned descriptions into considerations it means the following: 

                             
(a) Knowledgeable - We need to be knowledgeable of the hazard and its associated risk. Considering those risks which are likely to arise because of work and work activities. 

                

(b) The risk assessment should be suitable for the desired purpose. A suitable program or method of assessment associated with any hazard should be used to identify the steps needed to be taken to remove, reduce or control such hazard (Examples: HIRA; Task risk assessments, Process hazard analysis, HAZOP etc)

                      

(c) The risk assessment should be meant or adapted for an occasion or use. The assessment should consider those risks which are likely to arise because of work and wok activities.

                    

(d) The risk assessment should be appropriate for a condition or occasion

It should enable the development and implementation of action(s), when appropriate, of systems to manage risk. It should also be appropriate to the nature of the work so that it remains valid for a reasonable period of time. Your assessment should enable the development and implementation of action(s), where appropriate, of systems to manage the risk. Your assessment should be appropriate to the nature of the work so that it remains valid for a reasonable period of time.

           

(e) The risk assessment should be ''sufficient''

Fulfilling the specific need or requirement but without being abundant, thus meeting the obligated need. In general this implies that the employer needs to take reasonable measures to safeguard employees and others wherever possible, but without stretching to excessive costs. It should be appropriate to your particular business and work activities, remember a risk assessment doesn't have to be overcomplicated. This will enable the risk assessment process and the significant findings to be used positively e.g. to change working procedures.

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