Health and Safety: Risk Assessment Resolution

For many people the words "risk assessment" conjures up perceived problems and difficulties - many people decide they cannot do risk assessments before they even try, yet this is something we all do, every day - Why do you look both ways before you cross the road? Why do you check food is cooked before eating it? Risk Assessment!

In effect our life is a continual risk assessment - we do it every day of the week and for most of the time we are very successful as we get through each day without serious injury or damage to our health. However, at times we take unnecessary risk through wanting to get a job done quickly, commercial pressure, lack of training or correct equipment etc.

When we are at work it is essential to have procedures for safe working to include an assessment of the risk - in life we have to accept a certain level of risk - but how we manage the risk that remains is important.

How do we do a risk assessment?

First we need to establish whether a risk assessment is necessary by determining what level of risk the task presents. The legislation is quite clear - you do not need to do written risk assessments for tasks that present trivial risk or risk resulting from everyday activities. Instead prioritise those tasks that involve a higher level of risk, remembering to involve your staff.

Is the level of risk?

Low: the chance of an accident is unlikely and the outcome will be a minor injury - RA not needed

Medium: chance of an accident is likely but will not result in a major injury - RA needed

High: chance of an accident resulting in major injury is very likely - RA needed, should be prioritised

Now is the time to consider your range of tasks undertaken at work and concentrate on those tasks which present a high risk before tackling others. Having done your assessments ensure that they are discussed with the staff undertaking the task and are easy to follow.

For further information on risk assessments, H&S advice or guidance, please get in contact and see how we can help you.