Risk Assessment

What is RISK?

  • The harm done by exposure to hazards, and the likelihood and severity of that harm


  • A systematic examination of the workplace, work activity, working environment and people at risk
  • Risk assessment identifies what could go wrong and how, in order to determine the measures needed to prevent it going wrong or minimise the harm done

What must be recorded?

The significant findings, including:
  • Hazards
  • People at risk from the hazards
  • How people may be harmed
  • Existing control (safety) measures and whether they are adequate
  • An assessment of the degree of risk
  • Action to be taken to adequately control the risk
  • Who carried out the assessment, when and where / of what

What skills and knowledge does RISK ASSESSMENT require?

Competence including:
  • An understanding of the topic being assessed
  • Technical / legal knowledge
  • Knowing one’s own limitations and when to seek advice
  • Training but not necessarily qualifications

What kinds of risks must be assessed by law?

Specific risks including:
  • Fire risks in premises
  • Fire and explosion risks of dangerous substances
  • Manual handling
  • Display screen equipment workstations
  • Substances that are hazardous to health (COSHH)
  • Risks to expectant and new mothers
  • Risks to young persons
  • Work at height
  • Work in confined spaces
  • Exposure to noise
  • Exposure to vibration
  • Exposure to asbestos
General risks including:
  • The working environment
  • The safety of the workplace, housekeeping issues etc.
  • The use of machinery and equipment
  • Electrical risks
  • Tasks and operations carried out at work
  • Risks associated with working alone
  • Risks associated with dealing with the public
  • Anything else of significance, e.g. work near water, work with animals, very hot or cold materials or conditions, radiation etc.