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Risk assessment and management

Risk Assessment

Proactively, effectively and continually managing health, safety and business risk is the foundation to successful project planning and outcomes. Taking a proactive approach assists in identifying potential problems before they occur, allows for controls to be planned for and put in place to mitigate adverse impacts, therefore ensuring project objectives are achieved. Before conducting research, researchers must identify and manage the hazards and risks associated with their work. ECU’s integrated risk management framework provides a consistent approach to identifying and managing risk to enhance the University’s ability to prevent harm to personnel, effectively manage opportunities and adverse effects that may be involved in the process of its work. The risk assessment and management process may be invoked at any time across the life of the project.

In particular, promotion of a risk management approach to managing workplace risk is recognised as an objective of Occupational Safety and Health legislation. The legislative framework embraces the principles of risk management and requires the employer to:

  1. identify each hazard to which a person at the workplace is likely to be exposed;
  2. assess the risk of injury or harm to a person resulting from each hazard; and
  3. consider the means by which the risk may be reduced.

ECU’s integrated risk management framework involves the following steps:

  1. Establish context (both internal and external), acceptability criteria and type of risk analysis required (i.e. scope of contract/work, objectives, boundaries, methodology, responsibilities, stakeholders and risk acceptance threshold).
  2. Risk analysis: Risk identification (develop a comprehensive list of all types of hazards – Health and Safety (including high risk materials such as **radiation, biological and hazardous substances), Financial and Legal, Business Interruption and Quality of Service, Reputation and Image, Environmental and Project. (Consider the situations, hazard types and impacts). Risk assessment (using the University’s risk matrix).
  3. Record the risk assessment using ECU’s online risk management system – Riskware (for more information see the links below).
  4. Risk management - select, implement and monitor the effectiveness of specific risk controls and action  for further mitigation of risks to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) or an acceptable level: Risk reporting and communication. Risk update and re-evaluation - review progress and developments, check actions effectiveness, identify new risks.

Next steps

You must complete a health and safety hazard risk assessment using the Riskware - WHS Risk Module and following the steps outlined on the Health and Safety Hazard and Risk management page.

Further information and help about the Riskware - Health and Safety modules can be found here

**Further information and support on how ECU manages Radiation, Biosafety and Hazardous Substances can be found here:

Further information on and help with Radiation Biosafety and Hazardous Substances tools and templates can be found here

You may also need to complete a risk assessment for other general/enterprise risks that are not health and safety hazards.

For example those related to financial and legal, business interruption, quality, or the environment, such as the risks associated with the loss of owned, hired or borrowed/loaned specialist equipment or contractual obligations (confidentiality, IP, Privacy, timelines and deliverables to be met).

Further general Risk Management information and help can be found here

Additional support

For further advice and support, contact:

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