Help: How to do a risk assessment for a Jam


14 posts
by winkleink » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:27 am
I've been asked to do a risk assessment for a Raspberry Jam at my companies office in the UK
Sounds only fair and if it's acceptable we should be able to have a Jam in the Egham/Staines area.

Has anybody here done a a risk assessment for a Jam and if yes I'd really appreciate some guidance on what needs to go into it.

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by sportsnapper » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:03 pm
I'm slightly cynical about HSE, but if your company know about risk assessments, and want to have one, I assume they have an HSE officer. Perhaps you should ask him for an example of other risk assessments that the Co/he have done? That should give you a good idea of what they're looking for. I would alos expect that he/the Co would have a risk assessment form of some kind.

BTW I'm not an HSE professional, just had to fill some in some forms in previous lives...
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by pygmy_giant » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:24 pm
ditto - I would like to be able to give you a sensible response but I am overwhelmed by urges to be flippant. I would say though that the Pi has only 5v going in and any projects brought will not be PAT tested. When you do get the thumbs up post the details of the event and I'll bring my Pi controlled tesla coil.
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by paultnl » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:42 pm
Don't mention the Pi controlled Warbots :D
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by KenT » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:26 pm
People seem to panic about risk assessments. Just write a list of all the risks you can think of, do a brain storming for this.

-What is the hazard e.g. leads across the floor
-How likely is it to cause an accident
-Likely severity of the accident
-Given the above, what is likely to be risks that you think you ought to deal with.
- For this,write down how to mitigate the risk.

Likely ones are people bringing in projects that control mains equipment and are badly housed
Wires for people to trip over.
High power mechanical thingies without protection
Batteries blowing up.

Have someone at the meeting appointed to keep an eye out for risks.
Record the assessment, appointee, and keep the records.
Possibly have a list of do's and don'ts to give to members.
The aim is to sensibly make people safe and also to show in writing that you have taken reasonable precautions.
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by pygmy_giant » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:32 pm
you have to rate each risk on a table like this:

Image

someone catching a cold from someone else would score 5 as it is very likely but no biggie.

someone spilling hot coffee on somone else would score 9

someone bringing along a pi controlled tesla coil that frys anyone who attempts to switch it off or run away socres 5 as it is very dangerous but also very unlikely (i was joking and would probably have electrocuted myself by now if I wasnt).

if all your scores are below 10 then you're ok.
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by phillrymer » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:10 pm
try Google there are a lot of free risk assessment templates out there I often use them for our community centre and amend them to fit our purposes or contact an existing club and copy there's if they have 1 remember you may need public liability insurance it becomes your responsibility once you hire a room not the owners as they no longer control what is happening in it
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by pygmy_giant » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:21 pm
Legally, is there a way to stage the event on a 'participate at your own risk' basis if you make this and any risks clear via a disclaimer before accepting bookings? (Insurance can be prohibative). How have other Jams tackled that issue?

Maybe someone could compile a 'Raspberry Jam in a Box' set of procedures and guidelines to make things plain and easy for future event holders. If you wanted to stretch the cloying fruit and food based metaphors beyond tasteful limits you could call this a 'Raspberry Jam Jar'.
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by phillrymer » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:59 pm
pygmy_giant wrote:Legally, is there a way to stage the event on a 'participate at your own risk' basis if you make this and any risks clear via a disclaimer before accepting bookings? (Insurance can be prohibative). How have other Jams tackled that issue?

Maybe someone could compile a 'Raspberry Jam in a Box' set of procedures and guidelines to make things plain and easy for future event holders. If you wanted to stretch the cloying fruit and food based metaphors beyond tasteful limits you could call this a 'Raspberry Jam Jar'.


I don't think so as community centre directors we have not found a way around it yet we have trouble with performing rights as well and tv licence's all computers require one centre one doesn't cover people hiring the rom only us as owners it really is a nightmare you may also need to have all electrical equipment pat tested for insurance and lease purposes health and safety is getting out of hand its costing us bookings
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by phillrymer » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:04 am
just had a though try using a local pub with an empty room may not be as restricted as other places
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by pygmy_giant » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:19 am
Does that mean all Raspberry Jams to-date have been unlawful?

If so how are people supposed to turn up with their own equipment to 'show and tell' ?

What about hacker-spaces - are they braking health and safety law?

Surely there must be a way to operate on a 'participate at your own risk' basis ?

How would liability pan-out if I turned up to a Jam and was electrocuted whilst plugging in a friend's un PAT tested equipment that he had brought with him?

Is the law different if a jam is held in my front room instead of a community centre?
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by liz » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:26 am
I would recommend you email Alan O'Donohoe, who heads up the jams in the UK. I'm not going to write his email address here because it's an instant recipe for spam, but if you google his name (perhaps alongside the word "Preston") you'll find him very easily, and he'll be able to advise you.
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by phillrymer » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:34 am
pygmy_giant wrote:Does that mean all Raspberry Jams to-date have been unlawful?

If so how are people supposed to turn up with their own equipment to 'show and tell' ?

What about hacker-spaces - are they braking health and safety law?

Surely there must be a way to operate on a 'participate at your own risk' basis ?

How would liability pan-out if I turned up to a Jam and was electrocuted whilst plugging in a friend's un PAT tested equipment that he had brought with him?

Is the law different if a jam is held in my front room instead of a community centre?


no idea I only know what community centres are supposed to do and what our lease and insurance require to be done
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by winkleink » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:18 am
Hi All,

Thanks for the pointers.
I did lookup the HSE website and it doesn't look too bad.
The 2 areas that I think might be interesting are:

1) The show-and-tell session where people may be bringing along things that need more than 5 volts.
2) Having kids on site (even with a guardian)

Other than these it's just a bunch of people playing with computers and talking to each other. Since we run events at our offices for (adult) clients none of that should be a problem.

I think I'm just going to start a list of risks based on the HSE's 5 Step process.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/risk/fivesteps.htm
The link also has a Risk Assessment Template and some examples.

It doesn't look to daunting. Once I've put it together and had it reviewed by my employer I will post it here with their comments so others can see what may need to be taken into account.

Again, thanks for the suggestion.
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