Risk assessment

Last reviewed on 26/06/2014 09:45

Risk assessments identify hazards in your workplace and help you to put sensible controls in place which prevent accidents and ill health.

Other assessments you might need to consider include fire risk assessment, manual handling, and specific risks to certain staff such as display screen equipment (DSE), as well as any specialist needs you may have. eg. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH).

You are required by law to ensure that you identify and manage risks within the workplace. If you employ five or more staff you are required to record the significant findings of your risk assessment.

Carrying out a risk assessment helps identify hazards in your workplace and enables you to put controls in place that prevent accidents and ill health, the effects of which can have a major impact on lives and be detrimental to business through lost output, damaged equipment, increased insurance costs and/or if you have to go to court.

Risk assessment procedure

1. Identify potential hazards.

2. Identify who is at risk from these hazards.

3. Determine and implement control measures.

4. Document the process - this doesn't need to be complex but is a legal requirement if you employ five or more staff.

5. Review risks periodically as part of your health and safety management and review procedures

Risk assessment template

You can use this risk assessment example and the template to carry out and document your own risk assessment process:

Risk assessment template [PDF]
Risk assessment worked example [PDF]

Work equipment assessment

Your risk assessment should take account of any work equipment in your workplace. You can use the inspection template to enable you to inspect and review what is there and record any action required.

Work equipment inspection template [PDF]

The work equipment safety programme will enable you to ensure you have adequate and ongoing management and review procedures in place.

Work equipment safety programme template [PDF]

Health surveillance

In simple terms, health surveillance means watching out for early signs of work-related ill health in employees exposed to certain health risks.

Methods can be simple or more complex depending on the risks to employees from the hazards of the job.