Risk assessments form an integral part of the risk management process and are included in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
A risk assessment is the process of identifying what hazards currently exist or may appear in the workplace, and defines what is likely to cause harm to employees and visitors, through the process of elimination risk assessments identify what the required control measures are to manage and minimise any residual risk .
Risk assessments are designed to be sensible, proportionate and focus on significant risk that exists within the environment, organisation or activity being undertaken.
What does a risk assessment include?
Risks need to be considered in all aspects of the working environment for example:
- Hazards: electrical safety, fire safety, manual handling, hazardous substances, risk factors for repetitive strain injury, stress, violence;
- Tasks: cleaning with chemical substances, maintenance work or dealing with the public.
- Unsafe work practices or habbits
Which companies need to conduct a risk assessment?
By law, every employer must conduct risk assessments on the work their employees do. If the company or organisation employs more than five employees, then the results must be recorded with details of any groups of employees particularly at risk.