The Five Steps to a successful Risk Assessment
14th July 2021 - A risk assessment plays a crucial part in Occupational Health and Safety management as employers are required by law to protect employees, and others, from harm. The purpose of a risk assessment is to reduce all reasonably foreseeable risks to as low as is reasonably practicable.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends employers follow the following five steps when carrying out a workplace risk assessment:
Step 1) Identify the Hazards
Employers have a responsibility to assess the health and safety risks faced by their employees. You must thoroughly review what may cause harm and be potential hazards. You can do this in several ways, such as walking around the workplace or asking your employees.
Step 2) Spot who may be harmed and how?
Once you have identified your potential hazards, you need to consider how your employees, visitors, contractors, or members of the public may be harmed and how serious this could be.
Step 3) Evaluate the risks and decide on control measures
Once you know who may be harmed and how, the next step is to prevent this from happening. You need to consider if you can remove the hazard altogether or put appropriate control measures in place to decrease the level of risk. You are not expected to eliminate every risk but do need to do everything reasonably practicable to protect people from harm. This means balancing the level of risk against the measures necessary to control the real risk in terms of cost, time or trouble.
Step 4) Record your findings
If you employ five or more people, once you have completed the previous steps, it is a legal requirement to record your findings. You should then share your findings with your employees.
Step 5) Review RA
Your work isn’t finished quite yet as workplaces very rarely stay the same, and therefore risk assessments need to be continually reviewed and updated where necessary. For example, your control measures may no longer be effective, or you’ve had significant changes in the workplace such as staff, new machinery, substances or equipment, or business processes that have changed over time.
For more in-depth information from H&S Expert Nigel Stevens, Health Safety Environment Consultant, join our webinar on Wednesday, the 18th of August at 2pm. You can register now to book your place here: https://webinar.ringcentral.com/webinar/register/WN_L-F3lMJmQWy73-v2VR1A0A
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