Making Sense of Health and Wellbeing Risk Assessment

Spotting a safety incident after the event is often easy. Trying to prevent that event is difficult but using past events to understand the type of incidents that may occur is a regular activity in safety management leading to the prevention of many accidents and saving lives. Spotting an occupational health or health and wellbeing event is comparatively difficult and therefore learning from the events, understanding the size of the risk and mitigating that risk is difficult.

There are fundamental differences between spotting a safety cause or contribution to an accident or injury versus our ability to attribute individual or series of exposures to recognised occupational health hazards as the direct cause of an occupational disease in an individual. These include the latency period between workplace exposures experienced in a current or previous job, any effect recognised to be associated with work, the number of causes that might lead to the effect, and the identification of the effect on the person.

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