How much time is spent on paper-based risk assessments?

Figuring out how much time it takes for construction workers to complete risk assessment forms doesn’t have to be guesswork. After taking data from our risk assessment productivity case study, we were able to determine an average time for each step. From there a monetary value was placed on each step based on the wages workers are paid. For information on how much paper-based risk assessments cost, click here. But back to the issue of time and the below diagram shows how long each step takes.

1. Create Risk Assessment: A paper-based notebook with blank risk assessments and SWMS’s is carried on site. The worker completes the task of writing a risk assessment and the associated SWMS.

2. Present to Foreman: The risk assessment plan and SWMS are presented to the foreman before starting work. The foreman will review the paperwork and keep a copy for auditing purposes.

3. Conduct Work: Throughout the job it is possible unforeseen risks arise and an extra risk assessment policy would need to be added. The worker may also need to review a SWMS to ensure that they are conducting the work safely.

4. Filing and Auditing: The completed risk assessments must be handed to and kept for seven years. The filing and administration associated with this task includes the time to hand the paper work to a manager and the time it takes to file the paperwork. It also includes the time it takes to retrieve paperwork during an audit.

The average time taken in the risk assessment process is approximately 9-16 minutes. For the purposes of your calculations you can change the values associated with each process. It is important to note here that there are some intangible factors that are difficult to include in this measurement. Some examples include the time that is saved in incident reporting and compensation related administration by having a safer work environment. Nonetheless the entire paper-based process is unnecessarily long but an alternative exists in the form of risk assessment software. This is all good and well but it does beg the question: how much time is spent on software-based risk assessments?