Risk assessment guidance for employers
Employers are required by law to manage health and safety in the workplace. Each organisation has their own ways of doing this and the roles of individual risk assessors can be different.
Risk assessments should address tasks, and everyone involved
The legislation requires employers to identify groups that might be at risk of harm, but telling someone that “you must be risk assessed” sends out a negative message. It sounds much more positive to tell someone that activities are being assessed.
The individuals involved must be consulted
Make sure that you involve your staff or their representatives in the process. Your employee is usually the best person to describe how their sight loss affects them and you should be able to tap into that knowledge.
Adjustments should be considered as part of the process
Employers have a responsibility to make “reasonable adjustments” to working practices and physical features. This is likely to include the provision of auxiliary aids and changes to make the workplace accessible. This might be beyond your area of responsibility as a risk assessor, but you must be prepared to take proposed changes into account.
Don’t make assumptions about the level of someone’s functional vision
Most blind people have some useful vision. Asking the individual to describe their sight is often the best way to gather information to assess risk. You should not make assumptions.