- What is a risk assessment?
- Why carry out a risk assessment?
- How to carry out a risk assessment
- Who should carry out a risk assessment?
- When to carry out a risk assessment?
- What should be included in a risk assessment?
- Reviewing and updating your risk assessment
- Further information and resources
Carrying out a health and safety risk assessment is a vital part of any business. By identifying potential risks, you can take steps to reduce the chance of an accident or injury occurring. This blog post will show you how to carry out a risk assessment, step-by-step.
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In order to ensure the safety of employees and visitors in your workplace, you will need to carry out regular risk assessments. A risk assessment is a systematic evaluation of workplace hazards and the risks they pose. By identifying and assessing the risks in your workplace, you can take steps to control them and prevent accidents, injuries, and ill health.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to risk assessment; the methods you use will depend on the size and complexity of your workplace and the nature of the risks involved. However, all risk assessments should follow a similar process, as outlined below.
1. Identify the hazards in your workplace
2. Evaluate the risks posed by each hazard
3. Control the risks identified
4. Record your findings
5. Review and update your risk assessment regularly
What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what could cause harm to people in your workplace. It involves both identifying the hazards and then deciding whether you have taken enough precautions or whether more should be done to prevent harm.
Why carry out a risk assessment?
Risk assessments are important because they help employers and employees identify hazards in the workplace and take steps to mitigate them. By identifying potential risks, employers can take steps to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring. Risk assessments also help employers comply with health and safety regulations.
How to carry out a risk assessment
In order to protect your employees, customers and visitors, you must carry out a risk assessment and put in place appropriate control measures. A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what could cause harm to people in your workplace.
As an employer, you are responsible for the health and safety of your employees, and this includes ensuring that they are not exposed to unnecessary risks. You must also take reasonable steps to protect the public from risks arising from your business activities.
To help you understand what is involved in carrying out a risk assessment, we have produced this step-by-step guide.
The first step is to identify the hazards in your workplace. A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause harm, such as slips and trips, electrical equipment, manual handling, chemicals, etc.
Once you have identified the hazards, you need to assess the risks associated with them. This means looking at how likely it is that somebody could be harmed by the hazard and how serious the consequences could be if this happened.
You then need to put in place control measures to either eliminate or reduce the risks to an acceptable level. These control measures could include things like providing better lighting or signage, carrying out regular maintenance checks on equipment, implementing safe working procedures, etc.
Finally, you need to review your risk assessment on a regular basis and update it if anything changes in your workplace (e.g. new equipment is installed, there are changes in staff numbers or roles).
Who should carry out a risk assessment?
Risk assessments must be carried out by a competent person. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines a competent person as someone who has “sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities that allow them to assist you properly”.
When choosing who will carry out your risk assessment, you should consider their:
-training and qualifications;
-knowledge of your business and operations;
-ability to identify foreseeable risks;
-understanding of what is needed to control the risks.
When to carry out a risk assessment?
You should carry out a risk assessment whenever there is a change to your workplace which could affect the health and safety of your employees or others. This includes changes to the:
– physical workplace, such as layout, access routes, workstations, machinery or chemicals
– job roles, for example, when new staff start work or when existing staff take on new responsibilities
– volume of work, for example, during busy periods
– way work is carried out, for example, if you introduce new working methods or revise existing ones.
What should be included in a risk assessment?
When carrying out a risk assessment, you should consider all potential hazards, including:
– slips, trips and falls
– electrical hazards
– manual handling
– working with chemicals or other hazardous substances
– violence or aggression
Reviewing and updating your risk assessment
As part of your health and safety management system, you should regularly review and update your risk assessment. This will help to make sure that it stays relevant and up to date.
You should review your risk assessment:
-if there have been any changes in your business that might affect health and safety
-if an incident or accident has happened
-if there have been changes in the law
-if new information or guidance becomes available
When reviewing your risk assessment, you may find that some hazards have changed or new ones have arisen. You may also find that some of the controls you have put in place are no longer effective.
You should update your risk assessment:
-to take account of any new hazards or risks that have arisen
-to deal with any changes in the way work is carried out that might affect health and safety
-to reflect changes in the law or new guidance If you employ five or more people, you must record the significant findings of the risk assessment.
Further information and resources
When you are conducting a health and safety risk assessment, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are some further resources to help you out:
-The Health and Safety Executive’s website has a lot of information on risk assessments and how to carry them out.
-You can find templates for risk assessments online, which can be helpful in getting started.
-It is also a good idea to consult with other people in your workplace or business, to get their input on potential risks.
A health and safety risk assessment is a vital tool that helps employers to identify and control the risks present in their workplace. By taking the time to carry out a risk assessment, employers can ensure that they are doing everything possible to protect their workers from harm.
There are a number of different methods that can be used to carry out a risk assessment, but the most important thing is to make sure that all of the potential risks are considered. Once the risks have been identified, it is then possible to put in place controls to help reduce or eliminate them.
Employers should regularly review their risk assessments to ensure that they are still accurate and up-to-date. This is especially important if there have been any changes in the workplace or if new risks have been identified.