Are you doing enough to minimise risks?

  • How to determine what is reasonably practicable
  • Are you doing enough to minimise risks?

When it comes to implementing risk controls to reduce health and safety risks in your business, the test for whether you should implement risk controls is generally whether it is ‘reasonably practicable’ for your business to do so.

But how do you know what is reasonably practicable?

How to determine if something is reasonably practicable

Just because something can be done doesn’t mean that it is reasonably practicable for your business to do it.

To determine if something is reasonably practicable, you need to assess what a reasonable person in your position would do in the circumstances.

You must take into account all relevant matters, including:

  • the degree to which your business relies on the skills and expertise of others;
  • the capacity of your business to influence and control the hazardous activity; and
  • the extent to which each control measure you are thinking of implementing will lower the likelihood or degree of harm.

Always aim to take as many steps as reasonably practicable to lower the likelihood and degree of harm.

Failing to take steps to minimise risks when it is reasonably practicable could result in significant penalties for yourself and your business.

Are you doing enough to minimise risks?

Always ask yourself whether there is more you can do to either:

  • minimise the risk yourself; or
  • ensure that another person or business who also has control over the activity can implement health and safety measures to minimise risks.

If the answer is yes to either of the above, consider whether it would be reasonable not to take steps to minimise the risks to health and safety.

The only time that additional steps will not be reasonable is when they are grossly disproportionate to the risk of harm.