image of risk assesment

Risk assessment and management should be an essential part of every business, no matter which industry you work in or the size of the workplace. It’s important that all business owners carry out risk assessments for the protection of their workers and also to comply with the guidelines of health and safety law.

Risk assessment ensures that every workplace has identified any potential risks that could cause harm, or in extreme cases, even death, to allow appropriate measures to be put in place to prevent such an incident occurring. Being able to control these risks offers many benefits to businesses; not only does it protect your workforce but it also reduces the cost for damaged equipment, insurance prices and court expenses.

The Law

It is required by health and safety law that all workplaces must have carried out a risk assessment to ensure the safety of their staff. A risk assessment is only required to be recorded if a workplace has 5 or more employees. However, if there are less than 5 workers in your business it is still necessary to complete a risk assessment but you are not required to keep a record of it.

By the ‘Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999′ it is a legal requirement that all workplaces provide a full risk assessment of the working environment. This is to ensure that all possible health and safety risks are identified and can be controlled.

Carrying Out a Risk Assessment

When carrying out a risk assessment of your workplace you should record:

  • What the risks are
  • What procedures are already in place to control them
  • What further action needs to be taken
  • If there are any employees in particular who are at higher risk than others

When looking for possible health and safety issues for your risk assessments there are possible hazards and possible risks.

A hazard is something that can cause harm such as hazardous material, chemicals, dangerous equipment, electricity etc. Many hazards can be made obvious to workers with hazard warning symbols available for many common hazards in the work place.

Hazardous material

A risk indicates that there is the chance of one of these hazards causing harm to an employee and should be indicated by the level of danger it could possibly cause.

The Health and Safety Executive have identified five steps to follow when carrying out a risk assessment in your workplace, these are:

  • Identify the hazards
  • Decide which employees might be harmed and how this would happen
  • Evaluate all the risks and come up with precautionary measures
  • Record all of these findings before implementing them
  • Carry out a review of your risk assessment so it can be updated if necessary

If you are unsure of how to carry out an effective risk assessment in your workplace, or if it is a large area which needs assessing, you can always hire a health and safety expert who will make sure your assessment is carried out fully and to the correct standard.

To see a full range of hazard and risk warning signs visit our website.

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