Why Field Service Risk Assessments are Critical: 4 Key Reasons
20 December 2021
Read this blog for the four key reasons you must run field service risk assessments.
Unlike office workers, field workers face a wider range of risks due to their constantly changing job locations. So it’s vital to conduct risk assessments at each site to safeguard your workers, equipment, and reputation from the diverse hazards present.
This article talks you through the top reasons field service risk assessments are so crucial to business operations.
Let’s kick off with a quick definition. 🔍
WHAT ARE FIELD SERVICE RISK ASSESSMENTS?
Field service risk assessments are documents businesses must complete to manage any dangers that a workplace presents. It’s a legal requirement for any employer to carry out risk assessments, and the results of each risk assessment must be recorded if there are five or more people involved in the activity.
Using risk assessments is a simple way to eliminate or reduce risks to the health, safety or well-being of employees or members of the public when carrying out business activities.
Ultimately, their primary purpose is to:
✅ Identify hazards in a workplace
✅ Evaluate risks in a specific place
✅ To ensure action is taken or additional support is given when risk is higher than ‘low’.
… For example, steps that would result from a risk assessment would be supplying more workers for a job or additional equipment to make the activity less risky.
WHY ARE FIELD SERVICE RISK ASSESSMENTS IMPORTANT?
Apart from being a legal requirement, industry-leading field service providers minimise the risk to field workers because they have a duty of care. Safeguarding field worker welfare should be a standard in any field service business.
And running field service risk assessments doesn’t mean you need to apply them to every routine task. A fresh review is needed only when the setting changes or the activity being carried out alters the level of risk to the mobile worker.
So why are risk assessments important to your business?
Let’s look at some of the reasons you should put time and resources into creating sufficient risk assessments for your business operation 👇
PROTECTING YOUR STAFF HEALTH AND SAFETY 🦺
When carried out properly, risk assessments can prevent injury and even loss of life when large machinery is involved.
Every workplace could have hazards or potential risks that could cause ill health, injury or even damage to tools and equipment. Potential danger on any job can be reduced by following the five steps to conduct a risk assessment so that any risks are noted, and the work is adapted to protect those who are carrying out the job.
And this is where tech can help.
With the right software, field service businesses can more easily manage risk assessments. For example, some software includes health and safety HR features, allowing you to attach risk assessments to individual jobs.
Having all documentation digitally available for staff to access means everyone involved has transparency about the location’s risks and any measures that have been taken to protect those working at the site.
AVOIDING UNNECESSARY COSTS 💶
If you don’t fill out effective risk assessments, you could cause a myriad of issues for your business.
If someone is injured during their work, then you will have to cover sick pay, as well as employ cover for the job.
Plus, costs associated with workplace accidents come in the form of fines, legal fees, or even civil action — and the cost could be in the tens or hundreds of thousands for even a minor accident.
For example: A factory was fined £274,000 after two workers were injured by moving machinery on separate occasions. A cost like this could be a devastating blow to the business, and will most likely increase your insurance premiums.
The end result? Not only will you incur the financial loss, but you could also end up with reputational damage from any incidents. Moreover, clients or field workers may not feel safe after an incident occurs that you may have been able to prevent, which could further affect your bottom line due to loss of business and resources.
REDUCING YOUR LEGAL LIABILITY 📃
The first question to arise when an accident happens is ‘who is at fault?’.
Ultimately, field service risk assessments reduce the likelihood of incidents happening and demonstrate to employees, potential clients, and external bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that ample steps have been taken to comply with the law and protect people from harm.
IMPROVING YOUR PROCESSES 🔄
When filling out a risk assessment, your business will find alternative ways to carry out an operation or process safely. In addition, this part of the risk assessment process is iterative, meaning companies can revisit it often to ensure that risk is at an acceptable level.
Consistently looking at processes for carrying out work and ensuring they are continually being improved ensures that safety and security are always front of mind for your employees.
While risk assessments can be related to physical work activities, the company can also use them for key functions within the organisation.
For example: Carrying out a risk assessment before making a change will allow operations managers to make clearer decisions about changing software and facilities management systems to purchasing a new piece of machinery for their workers.
So, the results of the risk assessment will mean minimal disruption during implementation and no increase in risk when it comes to security.
HOW FIELD SERVICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE MAKES RUNNING YOUR OPERATION EASIER
We’ve seen that risk assessments aren’t just a means of solving problems but can be a great vehicle for your business to control changes and improvements to your operational processes.
Your people are your most important asset.
BigChange gives you the power to keep your employees working safely and ensure their personal information is secure and up-to-date.
With our online driver behaviour analysis, risk assessments, method statements and vehicle walk-around checks, you can rest assured that health and safety are a number one priority. Want to find out more? See how BigChange can help manage field service risk assessments. Arrange a free demo today.
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