The HSE’s definition of a risk assessment is:

“a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm….”

A risk assessment is a vital element for health and safety management and its main objective is to determine the measures required to comply with statutory duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and associated regulations by reducing the level of incidents/accidents.
Why do a risk assessment?
A risk assessment will protect your workers and your business, as well as complying with law. As for when to do a risk assessment it should simply be conducted before you or any other employees conduct some work which presents a risk of injury or ill-health.
How to do a risk assessment
There are no fixed rules on how a risk assessment should be carried out, but there are a few general principles that should be followed.

Five steps to risk assessment can be followed to ensure that your risk assessment is carried out correctly, these five steps are:

To identify hazards, you need to understand the difference between a ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’. A hazard is ‘something with the potential to cause harm’ and a risk is ‘the likelihood of that potential harm being realised’.

Hazards can be identified by using a number of different techniques such as walking round the workplace, or asking your employees.

Once you have identified a number of hazards you need to understand who might be harmed and how, such as ‘people working in the warehouse’, or members of the public.

After identifying your hazards and deciding who could be harmed and how, you are then required to protect the people from harm. The hazards can either be removed completely or the risks controlled so that the injury is unlikely.

Your findings should be written down as it is a legal requirement. By recording the findings it shows that you have identified the hazards, decided who could be harmed and how, and also shows how you plan to eliminate the risks and hazards.

Risk assessments should be updated with

  • – Significant change in process/ situation
  • – Change in regulations
  • – Live Document
  • – Continuous Improvement

You should never forget that few workplaces stay the same and as a result this risk assessment should be reviewed and updated when required.

How can Safety Manager help you complete your organisations Risk Assessments?

With the risk assessment feature, you can quickly design customise risk assessment templates to fit your needs or legacy corporate systems. From ergonomic, working height or desktop risk assessments, use our ready-made risk assessment form with tested questions and criteria’s, or design your own in a matter of minutes.