A risk assessment enables the management of risk, highlighting where harm may occur and adequately assessing whether reasonable steps are currently in place. It also assists the identification of further risks previously overlooked.
An employer has a duty of care to protect its employees under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. As a way of conducting this, the Management of Health and Safety at Work (Amendment) Regulations, 2006 and under HSG 65, ‘Managing for Health and Safety’, require risk assessments to be completed and communicated appropriately. Risk assessments are not about producing reams of paperwork, but an important exercise ensuring the protection of employees undertaking work-related activities. They should result in an activity to be controlled ‘as far as is reasonably practicable’ (SFAIRP) to reduce the hazard to be ‘as low as is reasonably practicable’ (ALARP).
Undertaking a Risk Assessment
- Prepare a task list and a list of premises for which risk assessments are required;
- Identify competent risk assessors (and provide additional training if needed), encourage assessors not to work in isolation;
- Undertake the risk assessments ie:
- identify the hazards to which people will be expose
- decide who may be exposed to the risk and how
- evaluate the risk ratings and record them
- check whether current risk controls are adequate or otherwise introduce suitable and sufficient risk controls
- record the assessment and provide it to all who need to use it; allowing for regular reviews or reassessments
- regularly review the assessments and also audit them
- continue to be aware of changing people, conditions and hazards and monitor that risk controls continue to work effectively
- On an ongoing basis update and undertake new risk assessments as needed;
- Consult with staff on the findings of risk assessments. Provide information, instruction and training as necessary, including instruction for managers and supervisors;
- Maintain an action plan of outstanding actions arising from risk assessments, allocate them to named persons with target completion dates and follow up to ensure they are undertaken.
The following documents in respect of Risk Assessment are available in the Document Library:
- P019 Risk Assessment Procedure
- G013 Risk Assessment Guidance
- F003 Risk Assessment Template
For further information relating to any of these documents, please contact the Health, Safety and Environment Team at email@example.com or on extension 2073.
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The Health, Safety and Environment Department provides a 2 hour risk assessment training course which provides delegates with the information needed to be able to carry out a sufficient risk assessment, implement appropriate control measures and monitor and review the assessment’s findings. The course explains each of the stages in carrying out a sufficient risk assessment and provides a blank risk assessment template use in the workplace and references examples available on the Aberystwyth University webpage.
- Risk Assessment - A brief guide to controlling risks in the workplace (Health and Safety Executive)
- Controlling the risks in the workplace (Health and Safety Executive)
- Office Risk Assessment Tool (Health and Safety Executive)
- Risk Management Homepage (Health and Safety Executive)
- Health and safety checklist for classrooms (Health and Safety Executive)
- INDG163 Five Steps to Risk Assessment
- INDG218 A Guide to Risk Assessment Requirements
- INDG73(rev) Lone Working
- Lone Working: A guide for safety representatives
- Guidance on Lone working in HE
- INDG226 Working at Home
- Small Event Safety Guide (for small and sporting events taking place on the highway, roads and public places)
- HSE Event Safety Guide (A guide to Health, Safety & Welfare at music and similar events)
Please note that:
- These documents are for guidance only, and if used as a template, should be modified to reflect the local Institute or Departmental situation and conditions.
- The information in the forms can be copied and adapted for use in the forms used currently in Institutes and Professional Service Departments.
Health and Safety Executive Example Risk Assessments
The following example risk assessments are in .pdf format:
Example: General Office/Admin Duties
Example: General Office Equipment
Example: Laboratory Technician Duties
Example: Litter/Debris Collection
Example: Maintaining a Swimming Pool
Example: Manual Handling of Deliveries