The risk assessment process can be broken down into 3 elements, the hazard, the risk and the incident. A hazard is something with the potential to cause harm. Risk is the likelihood of a hazard being realised and the incident refers to any event that has given or may give rise to actual or possible personal injury, to patient dissatisfaction, or to property loss or damage.
A near miss is an event that has not lead to personal harm but could have and but for luck or good
management, would in all probability have become a fully blown incident.
- Unsheathed needle lying on floor is a hazard.
- The risk is that someone receives a needle stick injury.
- If the needle is picked up by a member of staff who places it without injury in sharps box it was a near miss.
- If someone picks it up and receives an injury before putting it in a sharps box - this is an incident.
The Risk Assessment Process
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 the findings and implement precautionsStep 5 Review your assessmeny and update if necessary