Risk assessments

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The risk assessment

You're legally required to examine your workplace for any risks to your workforce. This process is called a risk assessment (The 5-step approach to risk assessments).

It allows you to plan how to remove or control the risk, and consider whether your current measures are good enough.

The Health and Safety Executive describes 5 steps to take in order to assess the risks in your workplace:

1. Identify the hazards

2. Decide who might be harmed and how

3. Evaluate the risks and decide whether the existing measures are good enough

4. Record your findings and apply them

5. Review your assessment and change it if necessary

If you're a small business and you already know what the risks are, you could probably do the assessment yourself. If you're a larger business, you could ask a health and safety adviser to help you. You'll still be responsible for seeing that it is done properly.

The fire risk assessment

You must also carry out a fire risk assessment (Before you begin). You must examine your premises to identify possible fire hazards and plan how to reduce these risks. It'll help you ensure that your fire safety procedures, fire prevention measures and fire precautions (plans, systems and equipment) are all in place and working properly.

Vulnerable employees

When carrying out a risk assessment, you must pay particular attention if you employ vulnerable people, such as Children and young people or Expectant mothers. There will be more risks specific to them, which you'll need to look out for.