Under the new Health and Safety legislation, assessment of risk is a key part of hazard management in the workplace. Having a good understanding of risk assessment and how to do it can help keep your staff safe – which is also good for business.

A risk assessment is the process of identifying those things in your workplace that could cause harm – and who they might harm. All relevant workers and their health and safety representatives must participate in the risk management process. By drawing on the experience of workers, you are more likely to pick up all the hazards and choose the most appropriate control measures.

Managing work health and safety through risk assessment involves the following key steps:

Identify the Hazards 

Hazards can be identified using different techniques such as walking round the workplace, consulting with staff and reviewing accident/incident reports. The new health and safety regulations encourage a broad view of risk, beyond the immediate hazard. This means thinking about the root cause of any harmful event, the likelihood it will occur and the consequences if it does.

Decide Who Might Be Harmed and How 

It could be your workers, other workers, or members of the public.

Assess the Risks and Decide on Control Measures

Understand the nature of the risk that could be caused by the hazard, what the consequences could be and the likelihood of it happening. Implement the most effective control measures that are reasonably practical in the circumstances.

Record your Findings and Do Regular Reviews

It’s good practice to document and review the assessment process and agreed controls for your records to ensure control measures are working as intended. Few workplaces stay the same si update as required.