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A Guide to Dynamic Risk Assessments

Dynamic Risk Assessment

A Dynamic Risk Assessment involves assessing risk in constantly developing and changing situations. It is a special type of risk assessment that should only be used in certain circumstances.

As is often the case, you may not be aware of the exact level of risk ahead of time, so with a dynamic risk assessment, you can continually assess conditions and situations to allow for unknown risks and account for handling uncertainty.

The difference with formal risk assessments is that they are prepared in advance, recorded and monitored on a regular basis. In contrast, dynamic risk assessments are carried out on the spot by an individual when either entering a new environment, or if the current environment changes.

It must be noted that Dynamic Risk Assessments do not replace formal risk assessments but should complement and fill in any gaps that are found when completing the standard assessment.

Dynamic Risk Assessments are used to cope with unknown risks and uncertainty and allow for flexibility and continual assessment. A Dynamic Risk Assessment is very similar to any other risk assessment in that you still need to spot hazards, assess the risks and put controls in place.

Who carries out a Dynamic Risk Assessment?

A Dynamic Risk Assessment is typically carried out by the employee doing the work, as it is at this stage that the hazards become known. For example, a delivery driver won’t know the hazard of the location or site until they arrive. They must consider:

  • Is there safe access?
  • Are there any overhead services or obstructions?
  • Any exposed edges or drops?
  • Are other vehicles present?
  • Are pedestrians in the area?

Asking questions like the above will help the employee assess the situation, and help decide whether they should proceed with the visit and how to do so safely.

Benefits of a Dynamic Risk Assessment

Understanding Dynamic Risk Assessments is important when you are dealing with unknowns and carrying them out consistently will help in a number of ways.

Firstly, it encourages a proactive approach to safety. Consistently identifying risks and hazards in changing environments means you will gain the knowledge to instantly assess new and variable situations. 

Employees will also gain increased confidence in assessing the environment, and through the appropriate training, have the confidence to make decisions that ensure the safety of the team and themselves.

Dynamic risk assessments can also help you:

  • Think before you act.
  • Be adaptable.
  • Involve employees in health and safety.
  • Improve teamwork.

At CoreGenic, we offer a range of expert services to support the health and safety compliance of your organisation, such as consultations, audits, project and site management, training and more. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about Dynamic Risk Assessments in the workplace.