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23rd June, 2016

What Are The 5 Steps To Risk Assessment?

We might not realise it but we risk assess things all day. When we are driving, working, playing, and even just crossing the road - is it safe? When completing a formal risk assessment to work, there are 5 steps to follow... but what are the 5 steps to risk assessment?

The 5 steps to risk assessment:

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
  4. Record your significant findings
  5. Review your assessment and update if necessary

Ok, to we now know the 5 steps, but how do we follow them?

The first step, is to identify the hazards.

Significant hazards, which could result in harm to people, should be identified. Hazards can be identified by reviewing the activity, and the working environment.


  • Equipment
  • Transport
  • Access
  • Handling
  • Chemicals
  • Fire and Explosion
  • Radiation / Biological Hazards
  • Environment
  • Individuals

Next, decide who might be harmed and how.

For each hazard you need to be clear about who might be harmed. This might be workers carrying out the activity, visitors, or even members of the public if you are working on or adjacent to public areas.

In step 3, evaluate the risks and decide on precautions. You should look at the likelihood and possible severity of harm occurring.

You must make sure you know about the main risks and the things you need to do to manage them responsibly.

Put in place actions and controls to reduce the risk as much as is reasonably practicable, to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.

In step 4, you should record your significant findings. A written risk assessment is a record of your findings, and can be used to communicate the hazards and controls to your workforce, and as a record that the assessment has been carried out.

Finally, make sure you review your assessment and update if necessary. Things can change over time, review and revision may be necessary when conditions change, or based on feedback from the team completing the activity.

Review your risk assessments periodically and make sure your risk assessment stays up to date.

Need help with your risk assessments? We have a large library of risk assessment templates you can edit and use for your business activities.

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