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SAFETY

A teacher assistant's guide to understanding risk

students learning about risk management in a school setting

A teacher assistant's guide to understanding risk

Risk is the likelihood of something happening. Risk refers to the probability of injury, illness or damage resulting from exposure to a hazard. Generally, risks are categorised as either low, medium or high. Examples of low, medium and high risks are shown below:

  • A child spills water on the floor. The floor can be slippery. The risk of slipping is considered low.
  • Children are playing outside on metal equipment. There is a storm and lightening can be seen in the distance. The risk of being struck by lightning is determined to be medium.
  • On a hot day, children play sport outside on the oval. Sunburn and heatstroke is an identified hazard. The risk of sunburn or heatstroke is considered to be high.

You need to identify hazards and assess the risk on a regular basis:

  • Before new tasks and activities begin
  • Before changes are made to workplace, equipment, work processes or work arrangements
  • Following an incident report
  • When new knowledge becomes available
  • At regular intervals during normal operations

In other words, you should be constantly looking for hazards, assessing the risk (low, medium, high) and doing something to remove or reduce the risk created by the hazard.

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