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This approach is particularly useful in identifying step changes in risk or sacrifice between the various options which will give a strong indication of the lowest risk option that is reasonably practicable. Life cycle approach - The overall risk assessment and selection of options must have regard to the intended life cycle, including construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, foreseeable modifications and eventual decommissioning or disposal.
There is a duty in Section 6 of the HSW Act for 'any article for use at work', which applies 'at all times when it is being set, used cleaned or maintained'.
In many cases, this hierarchy will automatically be realised if the duty-holder makes decisions which err on the side of safety and which take account of the integrity and effectiveness of various risk control measures.
Other principles and hierarchies exist in specific regulations and guidance; these should be applied as appropriate. An holistic approach is important in order to ensure that risk-reduction measures that are adopted to address one hazard do not disproportionately increase risks due to other hazards, or compromise the associated risk control measures.
This should be chosen by the duty holder unless they can show that this is not reasonably practicable; in which case attention should pass to the next safest option.
The procedure is repeated until the lowest risk option is found which is reasonably practicable.
Risk assessment - The MHSW Regulations (3) require that a suitable and sufficient assessment is made of risks to people, and other more specific legislation has similar requirements.
Reference (1) gives general guidance regarding the transfer of risk. HSE aims to influence the development of appropriate codes, standards or guidance, through the provision of operational intelligence (from inspection and investigation) and expert advice.
The design of a complex/high hazard facility, whilst based on the adoption of appropriate good practice at component and system level, must also involve explicit consideration of the risks of the facility as a whole to both workforce and the public.
This is because the integration of separate systems and subassemblies may increase the risks and further measures may be needed to reduces risks as low as reasonably practicable.
Similar duties are required by certain specific regulations.
Enforcement of these duties would need to take account of the foreseeability of the particular activity when carrying out design.