The process of carrying out a risk assessment should be “suitable and sufficient” and include:
- Have you identified the activities to be undertaken by the person(s) wearing the PPE, the likely duration of each activity and the working environments in which they will be exposed?
- Have you identified a list of the hazards present?
- Have you quantified the risks that would result from exposure to the hazards?
- Have you considered the protection provided by other control measures before the application of PPE?
- Have you determined the level and extent of protection required from the PPE?
- Have you matched potential exposures of persons who will wear the PPE with your Organisation’s job practices, tactics, working and safety procedures?
- Have you considered the frequency of use of the PPE to be chosen?
- Have you considered the number of sets of PPE required by each person?
The Health and Safety Executive in the UK has published Five Steps to Risk Assessment to help. This process works well but there are other methods, particularly for more complex risks and circumstances.
Step 1 Identify the hazards
Step 2 Decide who might be harmed and how
Step 3 Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
Step 4 Record findings and implement them
Step 5 Review assessment and update if necessary
By carrying out the Risk Assessment Process, companies can
- Avoid the risk
- Evaluate those that cannot be avoided
- Combat the source of the risk
- Adapt the work and/or processes
- Replace the dangerous by the non dangerous
- Develop coherent overall prevention policy
- Give collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures
- Give appropriate instructions to employees.
There are various specialist electrical engineering organisations which will carry out a full arc flash study, including calculating the incident arc energy – please ask for further details.