Five Steps to Risk Assessment
Conducting a health and safety risk assessment is a requirement of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 as amended in 2003 and 2006.
Many people find risk assessment a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you follow these five simple steps to risk assessment in consultation with your workforce:
- Identify the hazards – this is anything with the potential to cause harm.
- Identify who could by harmed and how – consider the workforce and anyone you may come into contact with during the course of undertaking business (e.g. contractors and the public)
- Evaluate the risks and assess if existing control measures enough, or if more control measures are required – control measures should always follow the hierarchy of control: eliminate, substitute, engineering controls, use of administrative controls (safety signs, marking, alarms and procedures), and lastly PPE.
- Record the findings – document the findings and communicate with the workforce.
- Review and revise as necessary – a review of your risk assessment should take place following any accident or near miss, the introduction of new equipment or hazards, following changes in your organisation structure, or following changes in your business practice.
The purpose of the risk assessment is to identify the significant hazards so that you can put in place mitigation measures to prevent accidents from occurring. Mitigation measures should always follow the hierarchy of control:
- Eliminate the hazard
- Substitute for a less hazardous process, materials, operation or equipment
- Engineering controls
- Administrative controls
Remember, communication is key. Communicate the findings from your risk assessment with employees, so they are aware of the hazards, risks and associated mitigation measures.
If you feel you need help with conducting risk assessments, or any part of your health and safety management system, contact us to find out how we can help you: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01843 6399711.