How to conduct point of work risk assessments?

Point of Work Risk Assessments (POWRAs) are a valuable tool for enhancing workplace safety by identifying and managing risks in real-time, at the location where work is being performed.

In this blog, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to conduct effective POWRAs to ensure the safety of workers and the success of tasks in dynamic and high-risk environments.

Step 1: Preparation

Before starting a POWRA, gather the necessary information and resources:

  • Task Information: Clearly define the task or job to be assessed. This includes understanding the scope, objectives, and any specific requirements or hazards associated with the task.

  • Safety Procedures: Familiarize yourself with existing safety procedures, protocols, and standards relevant to the task.

  • Tools and Equipment: Ensure you have the necessary tools, equipment, and personal protective gear (PPE) required for the assessment.

  • Team Selection: Determine who will be part of the assessment team, which may include workers directly involved in the task, supervisors, and safety experts.

Step 2: Identify Hazards

  • Survey the Area: Begin by conducting a thorough survey of the work area. Look for potential hazards, including physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic, and psychosocial factors.

  • Involve Workers: Engage workers who are experienced in the task. They often have valuable insights into potential hazards and risks that may not be immediately obvious.

  • Use Checklists: Consider using checklists or safety observation forms to help systematically identify hazards.

Step 3: Assess Risks

  • Evaluate Hazards: For each identified hazard, assess the associated risks by considering the likelihood of an incident occurring and the potential consequences. Use a risk matrix or similar tool to quantify risk levels.

  • Prioritize Risks: Prioritize risks based on their severity and potential impact on safety and task success. Focus on addressing high-priority risks first.

  • Risk Mitigation: Determine control measures that can be implemented to mitigate each risk. Controls may include changing work procedures, using additional protective equipment, or modifying the work environment.

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Step 4: Implement Controls

  • Select Controls: Choose the most appropriate control measures for each identified risk. Controls should be feasible, effective, and tailored to the specific task and hazard.

  • Communication: Ensure that all team members understand the selected control measures and their roles in implementing them. Clear communication is essential for successful risk mitigation.

  • Immediate Action: Implement control measures immediately before starting or continuing the task. This ensures that risks are reduced or eliminated before work proceeds.

Step 5: Continuous Monitoring

  • Ongoing Assessment: Continuously monitor the work environment and conditions as the task progresses. Be prepared to adapt and adjust control measures if new risks arise or existing ones change.

  • Regular Updates: Keep all team members informed about the status of risk assessments and control measures. Maintain open communication throughout the task.

Step 6: Documentation

  • Record Keeping: Document the entire POWRA process, including hazard identification, risk assessments, control measures, and any changes made during the task. Proper documentation is essential for compliance and future reference.

  • Review and Analysis: After the task is completed, review the documentation to assess the effectiveness of the POWRA process and identify areas for improvement.


Conducting Point of Work Risk Assessments (POWRAs) is a proactive approach to ensuring workplace safety in dynamic and high-risk environments. By following this step-by-step guide and involving workers and safety experts, organizations can systematically identify hazards, assess risks, implement control measures, and continuously monitor safety during tasks. POWRAs not only enhance safety but also contribute to a culture of risk awareness and prevention in the workplace, ultimately reducing the likelihood of accidents and incidents.

Are you looking for a tool to report incidents or any other issues in your organisation? Falcony | Observe ticks all the boxes for incident management, is easy to customise, enables real dialogue and is a lot more. 

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