In health and safety terms the phrase risk assessment is much talked about, but little understood. The key question always with risk assessments is not, do you have one, but is what you have suitable and sufficient for the task, process or building you are assessing?
The health and safety risk assessment process should not be a complicated one. Whether it is an opinion or numerical score, generated by a programme, algorithm or written on a piece of paper, the broader process should always cover:
- What are the hazards – (What can cause harm)?
- Who might be harmed - (and how)?
- Evaluate the current control measures – (and how effective they are and what further action is required?)
- Recording the risk assessment and its significant findings
- Reviewing it – (What should trigger a review or update of your risk assessment?)
Depending on the type of organisation you are, there will be different requirements for the types of risk assessment you need, but typically such aspects that would be covered include:
- Hazardous substances (COSHH)
- Expectant mothers
- Lone workers
- Display screen equipment (DSE)
- Young persons
- Work at Height
- Manual handling
- General activity/risk register
- Lifting equipment
- Pressure systems
How you tackle each of these elements will depend on the risk appetite of your organisation and the experience and competence of the people within it. Some are able to more than adequately provide the assessments needed, other prefer to look outside the organisation for support.
At Assurity Consulting we have specialist teams and competent individuals delivering all types of risk assessments on behalf of our customers across the UK every day. With decades of collective experience and 1,000’s of risk assessments completed every year, you can be assured that we have the necessary skills and ability to ensure your assessments are both suitable and sufficient.