Baxters Rescue provides Information about risk assessments.
What the Law says:-
Health & Safety at Work (etc) Act 1974 – states;
(l) The provisions of this Part shall have effect with a Preliminary view to:
(a) securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work ;
(b) protecting persons other than persons at work against risks to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work ;
(2) The provisions of this Part relating to the making of health and safety regulations and agricultural health and safety regulations.
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.
(2)It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.
It shall be the duty of every employee while at work-
(a) to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work ; and
(b) as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 - States:
Risk Assessments - Regulation 3:
(1) - Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of—
(a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work;
(2) - Every self-employed person shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of—
(a) the risks to his own health and safety to which he is exposed whilst he is at work; and
(b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking, for the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions.
Principles of prevention to be applied - Regulation 4:
Where an employer implements any preventive and protective measures he shall do so on the basis of the principles specified in Schedule 1 to these Regulations.
Health and safety arrangements - Regulation 5:
(1) Every employer shall make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the nature of his activities and the size of his undertaking, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures.
(2) Where the employer employs five or more employees, he shall record the arrangements referred to in paragraph (1).
Baxters Rescue on Risk Assessments
A risk assessment is a process employers and the self-employed are REQUIRED BY LAW to carry out.
As part of managing health, safety and welfare, in any business, employers and the self-employed are required to adequately assess the hazards in the work place and control the risks.
To do this you need to think about what might cause harm to people and decide whether you are taking reasonable steps to prevent that harm. There are occasions where people may be the hazard and constitute a risk to other people.
When carrying out a risk assessment it is RECOMMENDED you record your finding and actions in a written assessment, although if you have less than 5 employees, you are not required to write anything down. If you employ 5 or more, you are legally required to write down your findings and actions.
Not writing anything down because you employ less than 5 people is not sound advice because, if something should go wrong or you need to review what you assessed and attempted to control in a previous assessment, you will be unable to do this adequately also, you will be required to prove your previous assessment was undertaken correctly and you had adequately assessed the hazards and did what you were required to do in controlling the risks.
It will be very difficult for you to prove what you assessed and what you sought to control if you have nothing in writing.
You may already be taking steps to protect your employees, self-employed and others who are not in your employment who may be affected by your undertakings, , but your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have covered all you need to.
Think about how accidents and ill health could happen and concentrate on real risks – those that are most likely and which will cause the most harm.
For some risks, other regulations require particular control measures.
Your assessment can help you identify where you need to look at certain risks and these particular control measures in more detail. These control measures do not have to be assessed separately but can be considered as part of, or an extension of, your overall risk assessment.
What you must do:
Identify the hazards
One of the most important aspects of your risk assessment is accurately identifying the potential hazards in your workplace.
Who might be harmed?
Then think how employees (or others who may be present, such as contractors or visitors) might be harmed. Ask your employees what they think the hazards are, as they may notice things that are not obvious to you and may have some good ideas on how to control the risks.
Evaluate the risks
Having identified the hazards, you then have to decide how likely it is that harm will occur, ie the level of risk and what to do about it. Risk is a part of everyday life and you are not expected to eliminate all risks. What you must do is make sure you know about the main risks and the things you need to do to manage them responsibly.
Record your significant findings
Make a record of your significant findings – the hazards, how people might be harmed by them and what you have in place to control the risks. Any record produced should be simple and focused on controls.
Regularly review your risk assessment
Few workplaces stay the same. Sooner or later, you will bring in new equipment, substances and procedures that could lead to new hazards. So it makes sense to review what you are doing on an ongoing basis, look at your risk assessment again and ask yourself:
Risk assessments are a legal requirement, so it is important you get used to undertaking them.
For more information about Risk Assessments you can get in touch with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), by browsing their website at