It is a legal requirement for organisations with 5 or more staff to carry out documented health and safety risk assessments of all of their significant hazards. The Health & Safety Executive guidance advocates a 5 step approach to Risk Assessment preparation.
Identify the hazards present (a hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm e.g. slippery floors, electrical equipment, lifting heavy objects, stress, machinery, fire etc.).
Identify the people at risk from the hazards e.g. employees, contractors, visitors etc. Particularly vulnerable employees should also be considered e.g. young people and new/expectant mothers.
Evaluate the risk, taking into account the likelihood and severity of any accidents. Existing controls in place should be identified and evaluated.
Record the findings on a suitable form.
Review the risk assessment regularly.
Quality Systems Consultancy can carry out your risk assessments for you or support you through the risk assessment process by providing appropriate forms, training staff who will carry out risk assessments and commenting on completed assessments.
Certain specific hazards require a special risk assessment in a specific format.
Manual handling activities require a Manual Handling Risk Assessment that considers the tasks being carried out, the loads being handled, the work environment and the individuals involved.
New legislation requires every non-domestic premise to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment. This follows a similar 5 step approach as described above, but the assessment should focus on the 3 elements required for fire to start – heat, fuel and oxygen.
Hazardous substances require a specific COSHH Risk Assessment obtaining the safety data sheet alone does not comply with the law.
A Display Screen Equipment Assessment should be carried out on every computer user.