Safety Analysis Risk Assessment (SARA) Meaning & Definition | EcoOnline
Health & Safety Glossary

Safety Analysis Risk Assessment (SARA)


What Is Safety Analysis Risk Assessment (SARA)?

Safety Analysis Risk Assessment (SARA) is a powerful tool for reducing risk in the workplace. Safety is widely regarded as a joint responsibility of the employees and the management. A Safety Analysis Risk Assessment (SARA) is a comprehensive review of how safe conditions in the facility are, including an assessment of any workplace procedures and security measures in place. 

SARA is important as it highlights both the management and employees’ responsibilities to ensure the safety of fellow employees and others in the workplace. SARA also reviews safety measures on the premises, in the facilities, and in parking areas. 


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Why Is Safety Analysis Risk Assessment Important?

A Safety Analysis Risk Assessment is critically important as it allows the management to determine any flaws in its safety program. It is a moral, legal, and financial obligation for employers. Conducting a Safety Analysis Risk Assessment is important for various reasons. 

Reduced Insurance Premiums

Insurance companies review safety data and often inspect workplace conditions before giving a quote for their policies. As an employer, a safer workplace simply means having to pay reduced insurance premiums. If there have been no major safety accidents in a long while, insurance companies often charge a reduced premium.

Improved Productivity

SARA doesn’t just focus on conditions in the facility, but also looks at operational procedures and how to make them safer. Safety incidents often lead to reduced productivity and disrupts work considerably. However, workers are able to perform better when they know that they’re working in a safe place. 

Accidents also increase the amount of wasted production time. Work stops altogether in case of a serious accident, and even when it resumes, it takes a while for employees to get back in the right headspace. For the company, this also reduces overtime expenses as employees don’t have to work longer hours. 

Reduced Legal Costs and Compensation Claims

Employers don’t have to worry about lawsuits about unsafe practices in the workplace. More importantly, worker compensation claims also reduce sharply as the workplace becomes much safer. The company doesn’t have to worry about compensating employees who sustain injuries in workplace accidents. 

If there are several accidents or injuries in the workplace, the financial costs of compensating employees alone can balloon to an incredibly high figure. 

This, when compounded with the costs of replacing equipment or other indirect expenditure like training new employees, turns into a huge amount that most companies simply can’t afford to bear.

Loss of Reputation

The company’s goodwill and reputation are also negatively affected due to accidents in the workplace. In many cases, employers have to publish the findings of third-party investigations. If these include reports that directly blame the employer for not taking appropriate safety measures, it could hurt the company’s reputation. 

More importantly, this can also affect the company’s ability to attract and retain top talent. If an employee feels that the employer doesn’t take their health and safety seriously, they’ll soon start searching for jobs elsewhere. Needless to say, loss of reputation also affects the company’s marketing performance and sales as well. 


How To Conduct a Safety Analysis Risk Assessment

Conducting a Safety Analysis Risk Assessment requires both the management and the employees to work together. The management is responsible for assessing the reasons behind accidents and to eliminate any hazards in the workplace. 

Employees are responsible for highlighting hazards, for attending management training sessions, and for following the instructions or guidance provided by the management. Here’s how to conduct a Safety Analysis Risk Assessment. 

1. Prepare and Follow SARA Checklists

The management is responsible for preparing SARA checklists to inspect the performance and safety of different equipment, operational processes, and the facilities. The checklists must mention all relevant hazards and the steps taken by the company to mitigate them. 

2. Analyze Past Inspections and Injury Reports

SARA also requires the management to analyze any previous inspections and assessments to highlight new hazards and look for different ways to improve employee safety. Past reports of accidents are also reviewed to understand the causes and things that could be done better.

3. Prepare and Update a Safety Plan

The safety plan is an important part of a Safety Analysis Risk Assessment. The plan includes descriptions of all identified hazards and also lists the steps taken by the company to eliminate or mitigate the risks they pose. 

4. Ensure Compliance

SARA also requires employees to comply with the safety plan and any instructions from management. To ensure compliance, most organizations receive written confirmation from employees that they will comply. When conducting SARA, it’s important to determine whether employees follow the rules or not. 

5. Prepare Contingency Plans

In case of an accident, injury, or any instances of violence or emergencies in the workplace, the organization must have contingency plans in place for how to deal with them. SARA requires organizations to prepare contingency plans and revise them as needed.

7. Include Employees in Safety Programs

It’s important for the management to involve employees into any safety programs, directives, committees, or safety teams. The management must take active steps by introducing incentive-based programs that encourage workers to take part in safety planning or training. 

8. Review the Effectiveness of Your Safety Plan Regularly

As part of SARA, it’s important for management to regularly review the effectiveness of their safety plan and make amendments to it as necessary. Regular improvements and updates are necessary to ensure all new hazards or identified risks are incorporated in safety planning.


Use EcoOnline’s Risk Assessment Software to Mitigate H&S Risk

Businesses can manage risk much better and take advantage of EcoOnline’s Risk Assessment Module. It allows organizations to take a more structured approach to managing both qualitative and quantitative risk assessments. This ensures that all hazards are identified and the assessor is able to implement controls to mitigate them.