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What is a workplace risk assessment? See the Rules and Rights here

What is a workplace risk assessment?

It is a legal requirement that all companies that have employees must prepare a written workplace assessment. A risk assessment at the workplace can, among other things, help the workplace to improve the working environment.

In this article, we will enlighten you on the following topics:

  • Which companies must have a workplace assessment
  • The advantages of a risk assessment in the workplace
  • How to prepare a workplace risk assessment
  • What an assessment in the workplace must contain and how often you must revise your workplace assessment

Let's start by briefly defining the term, workplace risk assessment:

What is a workplace risk assessment?

Workplaces that have employees must prepare a written workplace assessment, also called a workplace assessment. A risk assessment at the workplace is a tool that can help the company keep track of its working environment.

Should you have a workplace assessment?

It is a legal requirement that all companies that have employees must prepare a workplace assessment that includes all working environment conditions in the workplace. In addition, it is the employer's responsibility that the company has an assessment in the workplace and that the employees at the workplace become involved.

In addition, the assessment must be in writing and it must be available to all employees in the company. Furthermore, it must be clearly stated who is responsible for implementing the workplace's action plan in practice and it must be revised at least every 3 years.

What are the benefits of a risk assessment in the workplace?

A workplace assessment gives your workplace the opportunity to work purposefully with the working environment in the company. The assessment in the workplace helps you map the workplace's working environment and thus identify areas where there is room for improvement. The company can then prepare a plan for how you will tackle the specific work environment challenges.

The majority of companies experience a strengthened working environment with a correspondingly improved well being through their workplace assessment. Indicative studies also illustrate that it can be easier to point out working environment problems that, among other things, can lead to increased sickness absence when the workplace includes sickness absence in their workplace assessment.

How do you prepare an assessment in the workplace?

The first step in the workplace assessment is to get an overview of the working environment in the company. If the analysis highlights problems in relation to the working environment, it is important that the workplace prepares a strategy for how it plans to solve the challenges in question.

In addition, the company must decide who is responsible for solving the problems, when the actions must be followed up and whether the working environment difficulties are solved.

There are no legal guidelines that determine how your company should approach the risk assessment. Thus, it is up to the individual company to assess which method suits best. However, it is a requirement that a risk assessment is in writing, as it must be visible to all employees at the workplace.

Furthermore, it is a requirement that the employees are involved in the entire workplace assessment process. This involves planning, but also implementation, follow-up and revision. If your company has more than 10 employees, then it is an occupational health and safety representative who must participate in completing the risk assessment.

The employees or the safety organisation must sign your workplace risk assessment, which helps to document that they have contributed towards the risk assessment. In the next section, we take a closer look at what a workplace assessment must contain.

workplace risk assessment

What must a workplace assessment contain?

The workplace can decide for itself which method it chooses for the preparation of a workplace risk assessment, but the workplace assessment must include the following 5 phases:

  • Identification and mapping of the workplace's overall working environment
  • A description and assessment of the company's work environment challenges
  • Inclusion of sick leave
  • A concrete action plan
  • Guidelines for how the action plan is followed up

The Danish Working Environment Authority does not have to approve the company's workplace risk assessment once it has been drawn up, but the Danish Working Environment Authority will  confirm that the workplace has carried out a workplace assessment that complies with the workplace risk assessment rules.

When should a workplace assessment be revised?

A workplace assessment must be revised when changes are introduced in the work or in work processes that have an impact on the working environment. An example of this could be if your company buys a new machine that affects the working methods and thus the working environment. It can also be if you start using new substances and materials in production.

It is also worth mentioning that it may be necessary to make changes to your workplace risk assessment if the company acquires new knowledge or experience. This may be in connection with an occupational accident and where it turns out that the accident occurred due to conditions in the working environment.

As previously mentioned, the company's workplace assessment must in any case be revised at least every 3 years.

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