Carrying out Risk Assessment at Work

With regard to risk assessment at work, the Labour Protection Act (ArbeitnehmerInnenschutzgesetz, ASchG) gives a lot of leeway; however, the following procedure is recommended:
  1. The company premises, the construction site or activities should be subdivided into local or activity-based units, which will serve as a basis for drawing up the safety and health protection documents (see Documentation).
  2. Identify the hazards and risks existing in the defined units or evaluation areas with the aid of checklists.
  3. The assessment of the hazards and risks identified as specified in item 2 above should be made with regard to the probability of their occurrence, duration of exposure, possible severity of damage, but also the technical feasibility of countermeasures and, under certain circumstances, a cost/benefit calculation of precautionary measures. The basic rule applies: the higher the risk, the higher the reasonable input for avoiding or minimizing the risk. Risk assessment does not deal with clear violations of laws.
  4. If risk assessment has demonstrated that action is needed, measures should be implemented to minimize these risks with deadlines being set in accordance with the urgency of risk elimination.
  5. The last step consists of drawing up the documents (described in item one above) which testify to the visible and traceable findings of the assessment.