Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment - Part 3 

07.11.19 11:44 AM Comment(s) By Nicholas Graham

The Discovery Process 

Clause 4 Context of the Organisation forms part of any of the new ISO Standards, and requires you to identify the Organisation and its Context, i.e. issues internally and externally that could affect the Organisation and its SHEQ Management Systems ability to achieve its intended outcomes. 

The Intended outcomes of a SHEQ Management System are:

  • Ensure Compliance 
  • Prevent Injury, Ill Health, Pollution, Environmental Degradation, Non-conforming Products or Services
  • Eliminate Hazards
  • Ensure Continual Improvement & Improved SHEQ Performance

The Kick off point for this is generally a process we call - Discovery. Here we use various different tools to aid us in discovering all of the Organisations (Activities, Products, Services, Substances, Plant & Equipment) all of which create hazards , risks (which need to be controlled) and opportunities, which need to be leveraged. 


In this vlog series we look at the Discovery Process which is the importance of identifying all activities, products, services and substances in your business so you can identify all the hazards and risks.

It is also important to identify the Context of the Organization.


The context of the Organization includes factors such as:

1. Location, geography, weather and topography

2. Activities, products, services, substances, materials, plants and equipment

3. Shift patterns – do employees work long shifts?

4. Social, cultural, Political issues 

5. Contractors/Suppliers

6. Preexisting conditions

7. Neighbors and the surrounding areas


Outputs include: Organograms, site maps, Arial photos, process maps and asset registers


Tools for Discovery:

1. The Discovery Register

This is the collaborative effort between us and the client to identify all activities/services/products/substances so we can help utilize the information to inform the development of the system

- Physical locations – maps, orientation, layout and Arial photo

- Shift patterns – working at night increases the possibility of fatigue 

- Geographic Areas

- Confirm facilities – are there toilets/canteens

- Declare if not routine process and activities

- Confirm work environment stresses

- Confirm Plant and equipment (assets)

- List gardening activities

- List substances used

- Previous SHEQ incident trends

- Possible emergencies

- Contractors used

- Neighbors are an external risk


2. SHEQ Context Document (4, 6 and 9)

SHEQ context document links clause 4 in identifying the context of the organization to (clause 6) assessing risk/opportunities associated with internal/external issues and then draws through to a management plan (clause 9).



Risk Prioritization Process

This is an additional tool after the discovery register.

The purpose is to go through activities/products/services and substances identified issues and assessment from an integrated perspective (financial/incident/environmental) and get an understanding of the level of controls implemented. From that outcome, we can determine further action required and provide a risk profile to determine a sequence of doing the risk assessment. 





Watch this video for an overview of how we do the discovery process and the tools we use. 

Please feel free to contact is should your Organisation require Risk Assessment training or assistance with your risk assessment process. 

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