Every work area or task poses a potential risk to personnel, property or the environment.
These risks are heightened if inexperienced personnel are to perform the task or when there is a change in work practices or environmental conditions.
Managing these risks is the foundation of all Safety and Health Management systems and makes the difference between completing a task safely or not.
By cooperating in the use of the Take 5 pocket book, both Employers and Employees can show reasonable care in maintaining a safe work environment for all.
Take 5 is the first step in helping to manage workplace risks and allows you to establish if a job is safe to perform or will require approval from your supervisor.
The Take 5 process involves the five following steps:
A Take 5 must be completed before the commencement of any task or during the task when there is a change in work or environmental conditions.
By answering the questions in the Take 5 booklet you will be prompted to identify risks to yourself, your workmates, equipment or property and the environment.
Personnel working on the same task can perform a group Take 5, but each person SHOULD complete the steps in their own Take 5 book.
When you arrive at the work site and before you start work grab your Take 5 book and fill in:
The next step involves thinking through the task. Seven questions are used to help identify any relevant permits, procedures or training that must be in place or complied with before commencing the task.
Carefully work through each of the questions and tick the appropriate box.
If you ticked a bold box in this area, you must contact your supervisor and not proceed with the task until the question has been addressed.
If your task involves high risk construction work or if someone's health or safety is at risk, a safe SWMS must be prepared. The person in charge must also make sure that work is completed in line with the SWMS.
Some high risk activities on site require additional controls and authority, these tasks have their own forms e.g. Working at Heights, Confined Space, Permit to Dig.
See your supervisor for a complete listing of permits for your area.
Is there additional Personal Protective Equipment required to perform this task. Is your equipment in date and in good condition.
Confirm that your tools are fit for use and are most appropriate for the job at hand.
Is the vehicle suitably located to ensure exits are clear and you have safe access.
In addition to permits you must be trained and authorized to perform certain tasks, this may include electrical or mechanical work or operating mobile and fixed equipment. It is also important that you are feeling healthy and alert to perform the task at hand.
The third step involves spotting any potential hazards in the work area. There are 11 hazard prompts to help identify what can pose a potential risk to workers, property or the environment.
Consider not only your planned task and immediate environment but also everything around you that could affect you and those around you during the process.
Risk Management involves giving a rating to the level of risk associated with an event, then putting in place controls to help remove or reduce the risk to an acceptable level.
The level of risk associated with an event can be established by assessing the likelihood and consequences of the event.
If you ticked one or more of the highlighted boxes, you must now move on to Step 3 of the take 5. You must now assess the risk level for each identified hazard to determine what control measures are required.
The first step to assessing the risk level is to turn over the page and fill out a condensed Safe Work Method Statement. Write down a brief description of the hazards identified. For example if you ticked yes to manual handling then write down the issue eg. 'Pallet too heavy to push'.
To assess the risk of this hazard causing harm you need to assign the hazard a likelihood and a consequence rating using the Hazard Risk Rating Table.
Think about the hazard and if there were no controls what would the likelihood of something going wrong be. For example (C) Possible.
Next consider if the hazard is a health and safety or environmental consequence and choose the highest reasonable level for your hazard. For example hospitalisation would indicate (2) Major.
Calculate the Risk Rating of the hazard by going across from the likelihood score (C) and down from the consequence score (2). Where the lines meet show the Risk rating, in this case its High risk (H).
Go back to the Safe Work Method Statement page and write H(C2) in the Risk Rating column. You have now completed Step 3 - Tick the box and proceed to controlling the hazard(s).
If the Risk Rating was Low (L) then no controls are necessary but as the rating was High (H) you have to find controls to reduce the rating to Low (L).
Use the Hierarchy of Controls to work out what you can do to reduce the risk or eliminate the hazard altogether.
So if using traffic management as an example the controls would be to Eliminate hazard by creating a detour. Engineer a barrier to reduce lane usage and provide high visibility clothing PPE for those in the hazard zone.
Once best control has been determined, check that the risk has been reduced to low and write the nominated control in the third column.
If the new Risk Rating for each hazard is Low (L) then implement the control measures and start work.
If you cannot reduce the risk to Low (L) then you are unable to complete the condensed SWMS. Immediately contact your supervisor for direction.
If hazards are able to be controlled, tick the SWMS completed box. Confirm that you are safe to proceed by ticking Step 5 box. Turn page over and fill out your name and date and sign off confirming your assessment is complete. If your team members are working off your Take 5 - get their signatures too.
If you did not tick any highlighted boxes, it is safe to proceed with the task as you have not identified any hazards in the work area.
Fast track to Step 5 and tick box to confirm you are safe to proceed. Turn page over and fill out your name and date and sign off confirming your assessment is complete.
If you identify an incident, poor behaviour or experience a near miss on-site which could harm people, equipment or the environment work through the questions on this form.
Your supervisor will require this information to enable appropriate action be taken.
Do a Take 5 if conditions change during a task, stop work and check for new hazards.
All personnel working on the same task can perform a group Take 5 but each person should complete the steps in their own Take 5 book. If people are performing different roles during the same task each person must complete a Take 5 for the specific hazards they are required to manage.
Your completed Take 5's should be used as a reference for future hazard identification and management with a similar work or task area. Share your assessments with your supervisor and consider implementing new work methods to avoid repetitive hazards.