Assessing risk is just one part of the overall process used to control risks in your workplace but it is a requirement under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
First of all, you need to understand what, in your business, might cause harm to people and decide if you are doing enough to prevent that harm. Once you have identified areas where changes need to be made, you should plan how you can introduce control measures in order to minimise risk.
The HSE recommends the following 5 steps when carrying out your risk assessment:
Step 1: Identify anything that may harm people in your workplace
- How they put people at risk
- What you are doing to control the risk
- Who is at risk or harm and how might they be harmed?
Step 2: Assess the risk
- How likely it is that people will be harmed by existing hazards?
- Are there controls you could put in place to minimise the risks?
- Plan how and when to introduce these control measures – prioritise.
Step 3: Control the risks
- First you need to eliminate risks wherever you can.
- Where it is not possible to eliminate them, you need to minimise the risk as far as is reasonably practicable.
Step 4: Record the findings of your assessment
- The record should include any hazards spotted and measures taken to reduce the risk.
Step 5: Review your assessment and your control measures.
- The assessment should be reviewed periodically and when changes to working practices or equipment are made. You must also review the controls you have put in place to make sure they are working.