The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers and the self employed to undertake suitable and sufficient risk assessment. The assessment must consider: -
- the risks exposed to employees while they are at work; and
- the risk exposed to others affected by work activities but who are not at work (e.g. contractors on site, members of the public, neighbours etc).
A risk assessment involves identifying hazards in the workplace, i.e. identifying activities or items which have the potential to cause harm and then evaluating the extent of the injury and the likelihood of the injury occurring. If the employer employs 5 or more people they need to keep a written record of any significant findings following the risk assessment. The significant findings of a risk assement regardless of how many people are employed, must always be communicate to all employees effected by the work activity. Risk assessments can form part of your health and safety policy which should be revised to include the findings of the process.
Risk assessment can be summarised as follows: -
- Look for the hazards;
- Classify all incidents, decide who might be harmed and how;
- Search for preventative measures;
- Evaluate the risks arising from the hazards and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or more should be done;
- Create a company policy and procedures then put control measures into practice;
- Check that the measures work and review your assessment from time to time revising it as necessary.
Risk assessment is designed to help an employer identify those areas in his business that require control measures to be put into place to safe guard the work force as well as others affected by the employers undertakings but not in his employment.
For further information on how to complete a risk assessment and examples of completed risk assessments please follow this link to the Health and Safety Executive website.
If you are a business operating in Newcastle and would like further assistance in this matter please contact the Environment and Safety Team on 0191 211 6123.