Risk Assessment – How, when and why?

Legal duty to control risk.

As an Employer you have a Legal duty to control the risk of injury and/or ill health to your Employees and any other persons who could be affected by your work.

You must assess the risk of injury and/or ill health and evaluate if you are minimising the risk to as low as reasonably practicable (ASARP)

If you feel you are not taking enough steps to reduce the risk to ASARP then you must take additional steps to reduce the risk.

This process is called Risk Assessment.

How to Complete a Risk Assessment.

Image result for risk assessment


To complete a Risk Assessment there are 5 steps to follow-

  1. Identify the hazards (straight forward, just identify anything that could cause harm to persons from the proposed task i.e. Electricity, Falls from Height etc)
  2. Identify the persons at risk (Employees, Public, Subcontractors etc)
  3. Evaluate the risk and decide if additional precautions are required (what is the likelihood of an accident/ill health occurring and how severe would the injury be? Is the risk low enough to proceed?)
  4. Record your findings if you have 5 or more Employees (document the findings of the risk assessment onto a risk assessment template)
  5. Review your risk assessment (review your risk assessment regularly to ensure it is current and up to date)

Note: If you have fewer than 5 Employees you don’t need to write the findings down but you still have a legal duty to assess the risk of injury, ill health and damage to property to your Employees and others who may be affected by your work.

You still need to communicate these findings to your Employees and you may need to evidence this in the event of an incident occurring. The best way to evidence you have completed the risk assessment process is by following steps 1-5 above.

Once your risk assessment is complete you must communicate your findings to your Employees. Ask them to sign the acceptance of working to the risk assessment page. This is important as it allows you to evidence the risk assessment has been communicated.

If you need any help assessing the risk in your workplace just get in touch!


This post was written by Dean Oliver CMIOSH.

Managing Director

Oliver Health and Safety Ltd.


Contact us!

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