Element IA5: The assessment and evaluation of risk

Element IA5: The assessment and evaluation of risk

5.1 Unit IA: Managing health and safety

Aim of the unit

This unit provides learners with a thorough grounding in all major aspects of managing health and safety. It aims to prepare learners for a career in health and safety by providing them with the ability to apply their knowledge and understanding of health and safety management issues in the workplace. In addition, this knowledge and understanding prepares learners for the written question paper assessment in Unit IA and the practical application (Unit DNI) which will be carried out in their own workplace.

Learning outcomes

IA5.1 Explain how to use internal and external information sources in identifying hazards and the assessing of risk

IA5.2 Outline the use of a range of hazard identification techniques

IA5.3 Explain how to assess and evaluate risk and to implement a risk assessment programme

IA5.4 Explain the analysis, assessment and improvement of system failures and system reliability with the use of calculations

IA5.5 Explain the principles and techniques of failure tracing methodologies with the use of calculations.


IA5.1 Sources of information used in identifying hazards and assessing risk

• Accident/incident and ill-health data and rates – incidence, frequency, severity, prevalence

• External information sources (eg, relevant governmental agencies (OSHA/HSE), European Safety Agency, International Labour Organisation (ILO), World Health Organisation (WHO), professional and trade bodies)

• Internal information sources – collection, provision, analysis and use of damage, injury, and ill-health data, near-miss information and maintenance records

• The uses and limitations of external and internal information sources.

IA5.2 Hazard identification techniques

• Using observation, task analysis and checklists and failure tracing techniques such as hazard and operability studies

• The importance of worker input.

IA5.3 Assessment and evaluation of risk

• Key steps in a risk assessment process including:

- ensuring comprehensive identification of risks

- identifying hazards

- identifying persons at risk

- the factors affecting probability and severity

- risk evaluation and required risk control standards

- formulating actions

- prioritising actions

- requirement to record findings

• Use and limitations of generic, specific and dynamic risk assessments

• Limitations of risk assessment processes

• Temporary and non-routine situations

• Consideration of long-term hazards to health

• Principles of and differences between qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative assessments

• Organisational arrangements for implementing and maintaining an effective risk assessment programme including procedures, recording protocols, training, competence, responsibilities, authorisation and follow-up of actions, monitoring and review

• The use of risk assessment in the development of safe systems of work and safe operating procedures

• Acceptability/tolerability of risk.

IA5.4 Systems failures and system reliability

• The meaning of the term ‘system’

• The principles of system failure analysis – holistic and reductionist approaches and application to actual examples

• Using calculations in the assessment of system reliability: parallel, series and mixed systems, common mode failures, principles of human reliability analysis

• Methods for improving system reliability: using reliable components, quality assurance, parallel redundancy; standby systems, minimising failures to danger; planned preventive maintenance; minimising human error.

IA5.5 Failure tracing methodologies

• Principles and techniques, including the use of calculations, of the following failure tracing methods in the assessment of risk:

- hazard and operability studies

- fault tree analysis

- event tree analysis.

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