Why You Need Regular Risk Assessments
A risk assessment is a necessary part of keeping your factory and workers safe. You need to know about potential risks and how to mitigate them before you send any workers into situations where they could be hurt. Risk assessments are not things that you do just once or every few years. These need to be done on a regular basis and any time you get new equipment or when there's a change to procedures. Any new situation can bring new risks with it, and you must evaluate the risk before allowing that new situation to become normal. This is the case whether you're looking at a new facility space or a new piece of machinery and its controls.
New Technology, Including Software, Brings New Risks
Think back to all the times you upgraded an app or software only to have the program go haywire on you. Once the company that made the program issued another update to fix the problem, things were fine, but until then, you had a lot of problems, might have been unable to work, and may have lost data.
Machinery updates — and any updates or new items — carry a similar risk, only with machinery, the risk could result in injury or death. The point of a risk assessment is to find out what might lead to manufacturing defects, injuries, deaths, and other problems, and to see how your facility might eliminate those risks.
Machine Condition Can Change
Even if you don't get new machinery, your old machinery can change. It can wear down, it can require repairs and part replacements, and so on. You have to be sure that the new situation won't increase any risks to your workers.
In general, a risk assessment won't cover your entire facility — just the new machinery or whatever you're changing. Because that means parts of the facility may not get any attention from your risk assessment team for a long time, you need to schedule regular re-assessments to ensure nothing else is going haywire. Sometimes a yearly inspection of machinery that you'd have to arrange for anyway will do the job, but other times you need to look at everything specifically to ensure nothing has changed that would warrant another risk assessment.
You need to identify potential problems early on so that you can deal with them without delaying your facility's production cycle. Risk assessment and all of the machine control safety products are geared toward ensuring a safe workplace. If you don't feel like you can conduct all the risk assessments that are necessary, contact a company that can take over that duty for you.