Risk Assessment and Evaluation (RA&E)
We all agree that safety and health at work are in everyone’s best interest! After all, we all profit from preventing absenteeism and occupational disability caused by accidents and occupational illness. The Risk Assessment and Evaluation (RA&E) is one of the tools we can use to achieve this goal.
- What is an RA&E?
- What are the most important health and safety risks at the university?
- When is an RA&E conducted?
- How is an RA&E performed?
A Risk Assessment and Evaluation (RA&E) lists the risks run by your department, faculty or unit, making it possible to address these risks systematically. After all, we need to know the risks and their possible consequences in order to take appropriate measures. The university’s RA&E considers not only risks to employees, but also to students and surrounding residents (‘the environment’).
The most important health and safety risks at Dutch universities are the following:
Physical strain (in particular CANS as a result of computer work)
Psychosocial workload (PSW)
Biological agents (in particular laboratory animal allergies)
These work-related risks are all included in the Health and Safety Catalogue .
The RA&E is required by law to be up-to-date and comprehensive. This means that an RA&E has to be repeated at regular intervals. Within Leiden University, the minimal requirements are that an RA&E may not be older than five years, and that it must be reviewed in case of changes in the organisation, renovations or changes in the primary processes.
However, these requirements are to some extent arbitrary since large portions of the original RA&E remain up-to-date and comprehensive. An RA&E can therefore consist of new or additional investigations in the areas where this is required.
In order to be able to make a selection in this respect, the HSE Department runs an RA&E scan. This advisory document indicates which health and safety topics require a renewed risk assessment. An RA&E scan can be initiated either by the HSE Department or by the relevant faculty or unit.
The relevant faculty or unit is in charge of the RA&E. Having established an RA&E plan, the organisational unit is also responsible for carrying out the RA&E, in consultation with the HSE Department. A written report is made of the RA&E.
The investigation includes both an assessment and an evaluation of the risks identified. Finally, the faculty or unit formulates a plan of action to resolve the identified shortcomings.
The HSE Department supports the trajectory, helps the unit select a method of investigation, provides written advice regarding methodology, assesses the comprehensiveness and reliability of the RA&E, and checks whether current insights on working conditions have been integrated into the document.