What is a Risk Assessment?

A Risk assessment is a thorough examination of the things in your workplace i.e situations and processes that could cause harm to people.

Employers are legally required to carry out risk assessments to identify the hazards within the workplace.

A few examples of hazards in the workplace are:

  • Chemicals
  • Electric
  • Working at height, with machinery or in a noisy environment

To work out the risk we need to consider the chance of someone becoming harmed by the hazard.

Once an employer has this information they must decide what measures need to be put in place to prevent harm.

The HSE recommends employers to follow the following steps when carrying out a risk assessment because it will  avoid anything being overlooked.

  1. Identify Hazards (things that can cause harm)
  2. Decide who could be at risk of harm and how.
  3. Assess the risks
  4. Record findings
  5. Review risk assessment. (see below for explanation on when to review)

What are you required to do with your risk assessment?

If you employ 5 or more people you are required to record your risk assessments. You need to record:

  • Your findings (what the hazards are that can cause risk)
  • What measures you have in place to control them and if any further action is required to lower the risk
  • Details of any employees/departments within your workplace that are at greater risk and why.

Employees have a responsibility too.

Employees are required to:

  • Take care of themselves and others
  • To work with you to enable you to adhere to health and safety legislation
  • Follow instructions, attend training, adhere to control measures that are put in place to control risk
  • Inform you as their employer of any change in situations that could pose a risk

How often do risk assessments need to be carried out?

There is no legal requirement to review risk assessments , However it is good practice to review your risk assessments on a yearly basis,

By reviewing your risk assessments you are raising awareness within the workplace and as a result this will minimise risk.

A risk assessment must be carried out if:

  • There is a change of work process
  • There is any new equipment
  • At a point of incident/accident
  • If you have a new staff member or a member of staff that will be in a new role

To help you work in an environment that is as safe as you can make it Make sure you and your staff are aware of health and safety procedures within the workplace.

For Further information about risk assessments please contact us

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