• Lucille N
    Should risk registers be signed off by workers?
  • James
    Most are unlikely to know what they're signing off so it's likely a tick box exercise. I find it's more important to include them in the discussion around what risks have been identified and controls developed. I normally record the names of staff I have talked to for the review.

    If there are residual risks that could be reduced further by engineering controls but for whatever reason the site doesn't want to, I ensure those risks and the additional soft controls are in the SOP. The operators read a simple half page on each risk, if there are any, then sign off they are aware and accepting the residual risk. I have have one instance where the operator didn't believe it was acceptable so he doesn't work on that machine.
  • KeithH
    @Lucille N
    No disrespect but why are you asking this question?
    What is its purpose?

    Too many unknowns without any defining criteria.

    Just a question.
  • Lucille N
    a completely fair question! I was pushing it with that vague, rushed question I posted. So more context, currently we are on a primarily paper based health and safety system which means we need to keep health and safety effective without overloading people with too much paperwork. So when people head out to a site, they will go over the risk register for that site, add any new hazards on the day and all workers will sign off the risk register before starting work on site as part of their pre start/take 5.

    The general office risk register does not require workers signatures but I’m wondering if risk registers should be signed off for all our higher risk environments as a means to ensure we are tracking what workers have seen the risk register for that site/work area. There are of course other training and competency assessments for carrying out certain work activities in addition to be signed off on a register. But I thought it may be useful for keeping track of workers knowledge when the health and safety system is fairly immature?
  • Lucille N
    really helpful, thank you!
  • KeithH
    @Lucille N
    So if workers sign something - in this case a site risk register - what is the purpose and how will the purpose be measured?
    What are the benefits and who benefits?
    Is there a defined outcome or is the activity a tick box exercise?
    Who is driving the need to sign?
    What is the opinion of the workers?
    What would signing achieve?

    Is the system immature or misguided?

    While there is a difference between guidance and advice, the decision will ultimately be yours.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  • Robb
    What about getting your workers involved with developing or reviewing the risk register rather than getting them to sign a completed one?
    The collective thoughts of those doing the job may produce insights for the company into work done rather than focusing on work planned.
  • Peter Beaver
    As James noted and a few others implied, signing the register risks becoming a tick-box exercise with no engagement, awareness and behaviour change (but it might legally protect you so there is that). As others have suggested I'd be thinking about (and possibly asking/discussing with them) what might engage your workers more fully in the process of understanding and responding to risk. Some people are very not reading focused in terms of absorbing safety information.
  • James

    Funnily enough, that is a nice way of saying Safety 1 vs Safety 2. (Personally, I think neither is the best way to address safety. Some situations required firm direction for compliance; others required guidance to achieve conformity).
  • Peter Beaver
    The distinction you make there reminds me of Snowdon's Cynefin framework for decision making. Situations are simple, complicated, complex or chaotic. Simple situations are about best practice, which I guess means these are the rules and you have to follow them.
  • Mike Massaar
    The important thing is that workers are engaged in the risk identification and assessment and safety planning processes, not signing the document. We used to do that but realised following investigations that most didn't understand the process but signed anyway. It's a bit of a cop out for the organisation. As risks changed then tools such as a JSA and toolbox talk become important as the work is to commence, and workers have another opportunity to engage at that point.
  • Suzanne Gillespie
    I find it helpful to invite our workers to a coffee meeting, either in a group or individually dependant on how available they are/workflow etc. I have a printed version of the current risk register with me, and we go through the different risks, the level of importance they believe our current work creates, any updates, changes, modifications in the past 12 months. It opens up discussion and shows me where we may have gaps and need further updating and information. I ask the workers to sign an attendance sheet to show they have been part of the consultation. Changes and updates are then discussed at team meetings which opens up further discussions. The updated risk register forms the basis of our JSA forms that the team use before they start a job. Their feedback underpins the changes in the daily risk management process that they use on a day-to-day basis. Conversations around the risks in the register are great indicators of understanding rather than just relying on written rules and procedures.
  • Steve Schroder

    O.k. so a bit of an open ended question.
    Your workers need input into the identifaction of the risk and the development of the controls to mitigate them. what is more important than the sign off, is the record of your consultation with them to develop these things.
    I personally would be ustaliising the safety committee and SME's within the buisness to do this, and would have the most sienor person incharge of safety at the buisness autherising the risk, interms of it being acceptiable to the buisness.
    then a monitoiring system of the risk by the workers and the supervisors/managers in place to ensure the controls are implemented and working.
    There is no short answer to you question really.
    hope that helps
  • Alex
    We involve our workers in the development of the risk registers, usually via the HSRs but sometimes via working groups. Our risk review process also includes the HSRs
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