Risk Severity and Priorities in Health and Safety
Those who have received health and safety training will know not only about identifying the multitude and wide variety of risks, hazards and dangers to health that are present in places of work, but they will also have an understanding of the ways in which different hazards have different levels of severity and urgency in terms of rectifying and remedying the situation to prevent an accident from taking place.
It is obviously necessary to attach priority to those which pose the most significant risks to a person's health or the environment, as these risks are likely to have the potential to cause serious injuries, illness or even death to workers or those in the nearby vicinity. However, management are legally required (in the majority of countries anyway!) to do as much as is reasonably practical to eliminate risks and provide a safe place of work for their employees, as well as preventing accidents which could jeopardise the safety of members of the public which can be affected by the actions and operations of the business.
This may mean that the company needs to temporarily suspend and shut down either a part or all of its operations whilst various risks are dealt with before workers are allowed to come back and resume their duties.
Although there will be some hazards that can be remedied without the need to suspend activities, dangers which are being tackled but still exist are still a risk to a person's health and wellbeing. As far as danger is concerned, whether the hazard is currently being worked on or not, if it still could cause harm it is still a risk for workers!
Should Risks be Given Priority in Order of Severity?
Whilst the most potentially-harmful risks and hazards should be given priority, it may be the case that a fairly low risk can be made safe quickly and easily. If this is the case, the company should not wait until they have finished with the severe risks as if they were taking them all in a rigid order, but should attempt to eliminate and make safe as many potential hazards as possible in as short a time frame as possible.