Best Practice

LOCATION: Company-wide ARTICLE YEAR 2018
ACTIVITY: Worker Involvement COMPANY: Kerneos and Imerys Aluminates
Dynamic risk assessment


Kerneos has been using on the job dynamic risk assessments DRAs) for many years, but they were little used and difficult to complete. The size of the book was too large, and the system was not being fully utilised.

At last year’s annual safety day, a team lead by the maintenance department, but including both production operatives and non- operational staff, decided to revamp the DRA form.

They reviewed other forms used in industry, both by MPA members and companies from other industry sectors such as Rio Tinto and DuPont. The objective was to identify best practice and learn from others. They recognised that a smaller, pocket-sized form would be appropriate for their business. The existing question list was reviewed, both adding some more relevant questions and taking out others that didn’t add value.

The site merged this system with the parent company’s 'Take 5' program and relaunched the newly designed, risk assessment book in September 2017.

It was agreed, that as a minimum, any task that requires a permit or lock off, must have a dynamic on the job risk assessment regardless of whether there was a formal risk assessment already in existence.

While formal risk assessments might consider risks on tasks and suitable control measures, it can’t always account for the hazards faced, especially those faced by maintenance employees in break down situations. The dynamic risk assessment tool allows them to take account of unusual hazards and importantly, helps them to consider any co-activity which might not have been present when the formal risk assessment and SSOW were produced.

The form follows five easy steps that help to ensure the team have taken extra time to consider the risks in front of them before jumping on the task.

The five steps are:

  1. Think through the task
  2. Look for exposure
  3. Assess the risk
  4. Take precautions
  5. Do the job safely 

The team have real ownership of the system and the form which they designed.


  • Risks more effectively identified and managed before task commences
  • Operators and contractors safer
  • 2,000 dynamic risk assessments from an operational team of around 40
  • System monitored by management and constantly evolving
  • System still being tweaked with suggestions from the team
  • Often used as central part of behavioural safety tours
  • Form has been adopted on-site by some of the regular contractors
  • Enhanced safety culture on-site
  • Commitment from everyone on-site to system they developed.
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