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Guide on the health and safety risk assessment process

A tool for managers and the health and safety group: How to prepare a health and safety risk assessment (APV) at your shop. Read about requirements for the health and safety risk assessment, roles and responsibilities, the five phases of the health and safety risk assessment, suggested methods, etc.

 

Health and safety risk assessment: The most important tool in health and safety work

The health and safety risk assessment (APV) is an important tool in connection with working environment efforts, and the health and safety group is to take part in the assessment process. Health and safety risk assessment covers both physical and psychosocial working conditions. These two aspects are often connected and affect each other.

A health and safety risk assessment has two objectives. It helps management and health and safety groups:

  • Monitor the working environment in a systematic way, so problems are identified in time.
  • Draw up a plan for how management and employees will resolve the problems identified in the health and safety risk assessment.

 

When to carry out health and safety risk assessments

All workplaces with employees must carry out a health and safety risk assessment that is to be revised at least every three years. Furthermore, the health and safety risk assessment should always be reviewed and updated whenever there are changes to the work, work processes or working methods which may affect the working environment. For example, if you buy new cash registers, or if you reorganise or renovate the shop.

You may also have to adjust the health and safety risk assessment if new information or experiences come to light. For example, if there’s an accident at work or if you uncover problems with the physical or psychosocial working conditions.

 

Examples:
  • If a grocery shop decides to move its cash registers, a health and safety risk assessment can uncover how that may affect the physical or psychosocial working conditions. Will the new location increase the risk of drafts? Will check-out assistants be less protected against a dissatisfied and angry customer? Will it be more difficult to keep an eye on what’s going on in the store?
  • If you have an employee who becomes pregnant, you are to use a health and safety risk assessment to review her working environment to ensure that both she and her unborn child are shielded from harmful impacts.
  • If you introduce a new technology, such as a new cash register system or a new surveillance system, you can use the health and safety risk assessment to analyse the consequences.

Who draws up the health and safety risk assessment?

Management and employees are to draw up the health and safety risk assessment together. If you have one, the health and safety group must participate in preparing the health and safety risk assessment.

If you do not have a health and safety group, a union representative or selected representative can be included in the work on behalf of the employees.

The five phases of the process

Health and safety risk assessment is an ongoing process comprising five phases: Mapping, analysis, examination of absence due to sickness, action plan and follow-up. The five phases are determined by Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) rules.

Before you start

Before you start, managers and health and safety groups (or an employee representative if you do not have a health and safety group) must agree on what they want to achieve: Will there be a specific focus for the health and safety risk assessment? For example stress, conflicts or wellbeing and job satisfaction in general? How will you approach it? Who should participate and why? What method will you use? Allocate tasks and make a timetable.

Remember to inform everyone about your plans, for example at a staff meeting, on the intranet or on the noticeboard.

 

The five phases of the health and safety risk assessment:

Additional requirements for the health and safety risk assessment

  • The health and safety risk assessment must be in writing. However, there are no requirements regarding its length.
  • The health and safety risk assessment must be available in the shop so management, employees and the Danish Working Environment Authority can read it. It can hang on the wall in the cafeteria, it can be placed in a binder in the office or it can be saved on the intranet. Most importantly, management and employees should know where to find it.
  • Management and employees are to work together on the health and safety risk assessment.

Additional information and material about health and safety risk assessment

BFA Handel has established a website on health and safety risk assessments (APVs) at shops. Here you can learn more about health and safety risk assessment methods for all types of shops and download a checklist that can be adapted to your specific needs. Visit the website here (opens in new window – in Danish only).

Lukop.nu. (Look inside!) is another website by BFA Handel. The website presents cases, examples and experiences with the practical work of creating a good working environment in retail. Use the website as a source of inspiration and ideas for your own working environment efforts. Visit the website here (opens in new window – in Danish only).