What is a Risk Assessment?

When approaching a new project and determining what work is involved, it is important to perform a risk assessment. “Risk assessment” is a term used to describe the overall process or method where you:

  1. Identify hazards and risk factors that have the potential to cause harm. This is known as “hazard identification.”
  2. Analyze and evaluate the risk associated with specific hazards.
  3. Determine appropriate ways to eliminate the hazard, or control the risk when the hazard cannot be eliminated. This is known as “risk control.”

Let’s watch Tyndale’s VP of Technical, Scott Margolin explain what risk assessment is, and how it relates to the PPE selection process.

Once a full risk assessment has been performed and all hazards have been identified, you can now begin to select the correct PPE required for the job. It is important to make sure the FR clothing you acquire is appropriate to both the hazard type, and if it is arc flash, the hazard magnitude to safely accomplish the task.

This is the main reason most FRC has externally displayed arc-rating labels. These labels allow the wearer and management, at a glance, to clearly recognize the upper limit of arc flash protection for that garment. An arc rating means the garment will protect the wearer from a 2nd degree burn up to that amount of energy. If the possible incident energy is above that rating­­, the wearer needs to wear a garment with a higher arc rating, or layer multiple garments to achieve the required level of protection. This is why proper risk assessment is a vital part of the PPE selection process.

Completing a risk assessment helps to identify and determine appropriate ways to control or mitigate risk. These findings will allow you to choose the proper PPE with sufficient ratings, keeping you safe on the job.

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