5th September, 2016
Do you need a risk assessment?
Yes. If in doubt, the answer is yes.
As a general rule, you almost always need a risk assessment.
It might not be written down, but in your head, you're carrying out risk assessments all day, from the moment you wake up, before you cross the road, climb some stairs, pour the kettle.
You may not even realise it, half the time it becomes second nature.
At work, the requirements might be a little more... legal. Every employer and self-employed person needs to assess the health and safety risks arising from their work. If you have 5 or more employees you must document your risk assessment process.
(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; 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 …
(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
Don't worry, as we have just discussed, you are already an expert at assessing risk.
Did you burn your hand today pouring yourself a coffee? Hopefully not.
Did you get run over this morning crossing the road? If so, save this blog post for later and get yourself to the hospital.
Did you answer no to both the above? See.. you're an expert!
You have already been identifying hazards and controlling risks. This is the key to risk assessment.
Getting it all down on paper can be a little daunting at first. However, as we recently covered in our how to perform a risk assessment blog post, the writing of the risk assessment is actually only a small part of the risk assessment process.
First you need to identify the hazards and those who could be harmed, and then evaluate the level of risk and the precautions needed to reduce the risks.
Need help with your risk assessments? We have a large library of risk assessment templates you can edit and use for your business activities.