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To ensure that your safety comes first you are encouraged to always use a “dynamic risk assessment”

The definition of this is:

“The continuous process of identifying hazards, assessing risk, taking action to eliminate or reduce risk, monitoring and reviewing in the rapidly changing circumstances of an operational incident.”

Dynamic Risk Assessment can be defined as a spontaneous assessment, or on the spot risk assessment. It can also be considered as reactive risk assessment or even situational awareness. For example, a lone worker may be out on a visit to someone’s home, but when they get there something about the situation makes them feel uneasy. A Dynamic Risk Assessment would give them the tools they need to react in a way that keeps them safe.

The cycle of dynamic risk assessment is first to assess the threat posed by a person or people, places and objects; secondly, they need to evaluate the available options, thirdly, to respond with the best option and finally to continuously monitor the situation in case it changes.

A tool that staff can be used to ensure that they have covered their safety and role within a dynamic risk assessment is PECT. P is for person or people, E is for the environment, C for capability and T is for the task. Firstly, under PECT we must consider what the person or people are doing to cause concern, is there an issue with the environment, do the staff have the capabilities to complete what’s required of their role and can the task be completed safely.

If there has been even a near miss during your shift this should be recorded, along with any issues. A de-brief where that issue is discussed can help to put new control systems in place and to learn from what has happened, so this can be passed onto other staff in future training.