A Beginners Guide To Risk Assessments
September 26, 2019

Whether you are looking to create a risk assessment for the first time, or just simply want to brush up on the steps involved, either way you're in the right place!

Our short guide sets out to answer some of the most popular risk assessment related questions, to help you understand what is required, and even the steps to create an assessment.

What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is an examination of a workplace environment where given tasks are undertaken. In short, the goal of the risk assessment is to highlight any hazards, and outline steps to prevent harm. Often a hazard can be removed completely, however, where this is not possible, then certain control measures should be implemented.

Why do we do a risk assessment?

A risk assessment should be undertaken to ensure that all groups of people including but not limited to employees, contractors, and members of the public are protected from risk of injury or ill health.

Is risk assessment a legal requirement?

If you are an employer, or even self-employed, then yes it is a legal requirement to assess the health and safety risks arising from work undertaken.

The purpose of the assessment is to identify what needs to be done to control health and safety risks, as set out in Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

What does a risk assessment need to include?

In short, according to The HSE, your risk assessment should include what within your business may cause harm or ill health, and the people who may be affected.

Your assessment should show the following;

  • That a proper check was made
  • That all people who may be affected were considered
  • That all significant risks have been assessed
  • That precautions are reasonable
  • That the remaining risk is low

This information is recorded within a risk assessment template.

What is a risk assessment tool?

A risk assessment tool such as Risk Assessor, empowers users to effortlessly create and manage risk assessments online and or via an app. A risk assessment template which can be tailored for any industry worldwide is provided to simplify and streamline the process.

What are the five steps to risk assessment?

In short the five steps to risk assessment consist of the following;

  • Step 1 identify the hazards
  • Step 2 decide who may be harmed and how
  • Step 3 evaluate risks and decide on control measures
  • Step 4 record your findings
  • Step 5 review the risk assessment

Take a look at our article five steps to risk assessment explained for more detailed information on each step.

When should a risk assessment be carried out?

The HSE currently stipulate that you should carry out a risk assessment before you undertake work which presents a risk of injury or ill health.

It is worth considering that another type of assessment, namely a dynamic risk assessment is often undertaken on the spot in new and ever-changing environments.

Who can do risk assessments?

The HSE currently state that specific training or qualifications are not essential to carry out a risk assessment. However, they do state that as an employer you must appoint someone who is competent, with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety in your organisation.

Note: the information provided in this article derives from the HSE, and is correct at the time of publishing. The information here is provided as a guide and as general background information, this article should not be taken as legal advice.

Carla Crocombe is the Founder and Managing Director of Safety Rocks Limited. She is an experienced occupational health and safety professional, alongside being a dedicated tutor. Carla regularly presents webinars and events as a specialist in her field. Safety Rocks Limited delivers bespoke in-company health, safety, environmental and management training with the objectives of improving safety culture, reducing accidents and incidents, increasing employee engagement and ultimately saving companies time and money".