Every business has to complete a risk assessment. For any company that employs over five people, it is a legal responsibility to document all risk assessments undertaken in the workplace. RAMS are documents that can be completed after a risk assessment and they are not as well known as risk assessments because there is no legal requirement to complete them by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
What are RAMS and how do they differ from risk assessments? Our guide will reveal everything you need to know about RAMS and when you should use them.
What Are RAMS?
RAMS stands for Risk Assessment Method Statements. RAMS are documents that companies create after the completion of a risk assessment. RAMS contains details of the hazard and a step-by-step guide to working around that hazard that all employees, contractors and others can easily follow. This differs from a risk assessment which identifies hazards in the workplace and analyse the possible risk to employees. With the help of RAMS, you can explore and implement methods for eliminating the risk.
It is logical for safety method statements to follow risk assessments. Since there is still a risk to employees after actions are taken, but the next step is decide on and communicate those measures to keep people safe at work.
How Are RAMS Used?
RAMS are most commonly used within the construction industry. One of the reasons for this is that companies often include as a requirement during the tender process. RAMS are used to prepare their safety documentation alongside assessing the health and safety policies of companies who submit tenders.
Making Workplaces Safer with RAMS
RAMS ensure that the right people, with the right skillset work to the right method statement in the right place at the right time. This ensures that incidents are avoided and people go home safely at the end of the working day.
Using RAMS can also benefit the overall business. This includes having effective control measures put in place thanks to the information gathered. Your business will see reduced rates of absence, improved productivity through the satisfaction of employees and the less risk of the business suffering any financial or reputation issues because of a serious incident.
Benefits of RAMS
- Supports decision making – a risk assessment discusses ways of conducting a task safely but no formal decision is expected. Safety method statements will help you make the right choices.
- Stops misunderstandings – responsible workplaces communicate to staff the safe ways of completing tasks. Management don’t want their staff becoming injured or worse because of a workplace incident – protecting employees is their top priority. Verbal or informal instructions can become misunderstood and can change as the message is passed on. Method statements formalise the process with a clear safe system of work which eliminates misunderstandings.
- Improving work processes – with a step-by-step guide in place which explains how to complete a task that involves risk safely, processes are improved and productivity enhanced.
How to Use RAMS
A RAMS document should be put in place if you can eliminate a risk by other actions or measures. Here are the best tips for using RAMS:
- Include the risk assessment
- Put supervisor details, equipment involved and other relevant information into the document
- First Aid Provision should be included
- Prepare a step-by-step guide on how to complete a task safely, covering every step
- Make sure employees involved with a task is given a copy of the RAMS document
- The document should be reviewed periodically to make sure they are used regularly and the information remains correct
Help With Your Risk Assessments and Method Statements
Safety Services Direct can write your Task Specific Risk Assessments and Method Statements so you can focus on other areas of your business. With our expertise, your workforce will have all the information they need to do their job safely. We also can also make Risk Assessment Amendments when they need updates as well as a Young Persons Risk Assessment. If you want to write them in-house, our selection of Method Statement Templates for the Construction Industry will ensure you have the best examples available.
For more support on your safety at work regulations, contact us today!