Risks are what threaten safety, especially unfamiliar or complex risks that challenge your usual ways of keeping safe. In your safety case you are making the commitment that you can achieve your safety goals despite the risks you expect to face, so you need to demonstrate that you understand what those risks are.
Your safety system (and other business systems) must be built to handle the types of risks you face, so it’s crucial that you understand what they are and how they vary depending on your activities. It’s also important to ensure your workers and their representatives are involved in identifying, assessing and considering the management of these risks.
It’s important your safety case demonstrates that you have considered your risks thoroughly to make sure your management systems are fit for purpose. A good way to show this is by describing some of the factors that lead to your significant risks and make them more difficult to control, for example:
When you’re describing your risk factors, ensure you also consider any seasonal or occasional activities, shutdown periods, commissioning of new equipment or special events.
You should also demonstrate that you have the ability to assess your identified risks, prioritise the ones that need attention, and put in place safety controls to manage them.
There are many different ways to assess risk so your approach should be based on the nature of your operation. Your safety case then needs to describe your chosen risk methodology, your capacity to implement or adopt it and provide assurance that it will address your risks. It should also describe what you seek to achieve from each assessment method, including:
Documents that may help you develop this section