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How do I start?

Prior to starting the actual risk assessment, you should clarify the following:

  1. Who will perform the risk assessment?
  2. How can I capture the organisation of my company?
  3. How can the workplace be divided into reasonable units?

1. Who will perform the risk assessment?

Please find more detailed information on this in our sections "Who consults and supports?" and “Who must be involved?”

2. Capturing the company organisation

The next steps should be based on you capturing all departments and working areas in your company.

The template Capturing the company organisation made available by the occupational health and safety administration of North-Rhine Westphalia is intended for illustrative purposes.

Please also take into account special groups of persons when grasping the company organisation, for example

  • youngsters and adolescents of more than 13 years of age,
  • pregnant women and nursing mothers,
  • rehabilitants, for example sick persons to be reintegrated step by step,
  • temporary workers and employees with insufficient knowledge of the German language,
  • interns, or
  • employees from third-party companies, for example for cleaning, maintenance, construction, training.

3. Division into units

There are different working areas in your company, for example workshop, production, office, sheet shaping, welding area, storage, where specific activities are performed at workstations.

In order to maintain the clarity of the risk assessment, you should initially divide the workplace to be assessed into individual, distinguishable units with similar working conditions and hazards. Document which activities are performed at these workstations and who is responsible for occupational health and safety there. This division forms your basis for documenting the risk assessment regarding the steps 2 to 7. You may, for example, use the organisational charts, personnel deployment schedules, or job descriptions existing within your company as aids for determining the units.

The template Capturing the working areas / persons responsible of the activities made available by the occupational safety and health administration of North-Rhine Westphalia is intended for illustrative purposes.

In this, please note:

  • the more hazards exist, the smaller the selected working areas should be;
  • by reasonably dividing the working areas, as well as systematically capturing identical or different activities in different working areas the extent of the assessments may be limited to the required extent and double working may be avoided.

In the next section you will learn how you can specify the division of the working areas.