It’s so simple to write a Risk Assessment!

It’s so simple to write a Risk Assessment!
Posted 27th November 2018

Step 1 - Know your Hazards!

  • Know your venue! Walk around and identify all things that could reasonably cause danger.
  • Ask other people for their views as they may have noticed things that you haven’t.
  • Visit the HSE website. HSE publishes practical guidance on where hazards occur and how to control them. There is plenty of information that may help assist you with your own company.
  • Are you a member of a trade association? If so be sure to contact them as they may have some very helpful guidance.
  • Check manufacturers’ instructions or data sheets for chemicals and equipment as they can be very helpful in spelling out the hazards and putting them in their true perspective.
  • Be sure to be mindful of long-term hazards to health such as exposure to harmful substances, or high levels of noise etc. as well as safety hazards.

Step 2 – Who’s at risk and how?

For each hazard that is identified, you must decide what group of people (people working in the storeroom, members of the public, office workers etc.) may be affected so that you can find a way of best managing the risk.

Remember – People who may only be occasionally in the building, staff who work from home, visitors, cleaners, maintenance workers etc.

People who may have specific needs such as migrant workers, new or expectant mothers, new or young workers, or disabled workers, these people may be at more risk which will require more thought on your part.

Ask others who they can think of as they may identify groups of people you may have missed.

In each case identify how injuries may occur such as back pain due to repetitive lifting with warehouse workers who lift boxes for example.

Step 3 – Evaluate risks and decide what precautions should be taken.

The law states you must do everything ‘reasonably practicable’ to protect people from harm and one of the most efficient ways of doing so is to compare what you are doing with good practice.

First, look at what you’re already doing, think about what controls you have in place and how it is organised. Then compare this with the good practice and see if there’s more you should be doing to bring yourself up to standard. In asking yourself this, consider:

  • Is it possible to eliminate the risk altogether?
  • If you can’t then work out how to minimise the risk so that harm is unlikely.

When controlling risks, apply the principles below, if possible in the following order:

  • Use a less risky option such as less harmful chemicals
  • Prevent access to the hazard by maybe guarding against it
  • Organise work in a way that reduces exposure to the hazards such as barriers between pedestrians and traffic
  • Issue Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), clothing, goggles, footwear etc.
  • Provide welfare facilities such as showers to remove possible contamination

Improving Health & Safety measures need not cost a lot, low-cost measures such as placing mirrors on dangerous blind corners can help prevent accidents but doesn’t cost much. Accidents that occur due to not taking precautions can cost a lot more!

Step 4 – Record your findings and implement them.

Putting the results of your risk assessment into practice will make such a difference when looking after people.

When you write down your results keep it simple such as ‘Tripping over rubbish: bins provided, staff instructed, weekly housekeeping checks’.

A risk assessment doesn’t have to be perfect but it does need to be suitable and sufficient, you need to show that:

  • You involved your staff and their representatives in the process.
  • All obvious hazards were dealt with taking into account all who could be involved.
  • Proper checks were made.
  • You asked who might be affected.
  • The precautions are reasonable and the risks are low.

Review your risk assessment and update if necessary

To help you understand the risk assessment process or learn to record risk assessments yourself we offer many Health & Safety Courses that can help you NEBOSH, IOSH, CITB or awareness courses. Alternatively, we can take all the stress away and undertake this work for you!


Contact us by email or alternatively call us on the relevant phone number:

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