A risk assessment into: The New Zealand Fire Service LIFE Project
Requirement for Risk Assessment.
It is necessary to undertake a risk assessment for this course in order to minimise the likelihood of injury to candidates and consequently, and amongst other consideration, to reduce the NZFS exposure to litigation in the event of any legal action.
The risk assessment for this project is centred upon the range of physical activities that it is intended to be performed by the candidates. This risk assessment concentrates on those activities where individuals are at risk of injury due to their use of equipment and appliances. It does not make any statement as to the suitability or otherwise of the venue – rather it is for local managers and training personnel to ensure that both suitable and sufficient arrangements are made in this respect. It is strongly suggested that current procedures for the health and safely inspection of Station premises are used, and all personnel involved in the delivery of activities are well versed with the hazards identified, the risk ratings and the control measures of the hazards.
The activities mooted are contained in step 2 of this assessment. Where additional activities are considered, these should be subjected to the same rigorous assessment procedure.
The risk assessment process employed is based upon the general principles contained within the NZFS Risk Management. The NZFS uses AS/NZS 4360:2004 Risk Management and SAA/SNZ HB436:2004 Risk Management Guidelines as its reference for managing risk. The purpose of job analysis is to document the requirements of a job and the work performed. Job and task analysis is performed as a preliminary to successive actions, this includes defining job domains, writing of job descriptions, training needs assessments. This involved the identification of the Activities and the Tasks associated and then a full review of identified Hazards associated with each Activity.
The Stations in-house generic hazard list was also used. The assessment makes the following explicit:
- The hazards present whilst such activities are undertaken
- An estimated level of risk associated with each activity
- A recommendation of the control measures necessary to reduce identified risks to an acceptable level. These measures include procedures for the use of equipment, the equipment itself, protective equipment and the competence of staff
As a general consideration, the advice from Health & Safety is that, given that this course is intended to help forge links with the community rather than engender competence, the activities should be as low a risk as is commensurate with the objective. Where the view is formed by the project manager that an ascribed levels of risk is unacceptable, then the activity should be moderated or deleted from the programme.
The people involved in the assessment group were made up of Fire Fighters, which included, Union delegates x 2, the Project management x 2 , along with the Eastern Fire Region Regional Health and Safety Coordinator.