Managing Risks with Risk Assessments

A fundamental part of managing occupational safety and health is to consider risks, which is why you might be familiar with the term risk assessment. In this blog post, we’ll help you understand more about risk assessments and how to apply them in your business.

We understand many people don’t know where to start when it comes to managing health and safety; they think of it as a minefield. Hundred Acre’s founder and director, Bridget Gilmour, explains: “We don’t know what we don’t know, but when it comes to occupational health and safety, not knowing can potentially cause life-threatening situations. That’s why it’s critical to understand how to identify hazards and evaluate their risk.”

What is a Risk Assessment?

A risk assessment is a systematic review of all aspects of your work and business, which identifies hazards and considers the risk associated with them. They exist to protect those involved in your business, and to ensure your business operates safely.

Risk assessments can cover:

  • General health and safety
  • Specific activities or events
  • Fire
  • Workplace
  • Workstation (DSE)

Risk assessments can also protect you from prosecution. If something does go wrong, your risk assessments will provide a clear demonstration of your commitment to safety and the steps you have taken to avoid accidents or incidents.

How to Assess Risk in your Business

The HSE talk about five steps to follow when assessing risks in your business. These are:

  1. Identify the hazards (anything that might cause harm)
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risks (risk is the likelihood of harm resulting from a hazard)
  4. Record your findings
  5. Review your assessment and update as necessary

Risk Assessment Resources

There are lots of resources available online for those of you assessing your business’ risks.

We recommend looking at the HSE’s risk assessment section of their website, which includes steps to follow and examples of assessment for different types of businesses.

IOSH also has some useful publications under its books and resources section. Small and medium sized businesses will also find their routefinder tool helpful when assessing their risks.

We can help too! If you’d prefer to outsource your health and safety operations to a professional, please don’t hesitate to call us on +44 (0)1933 201103 or contact us via our contact page. We work with you and your team to identify hazards and consider risks in line with current legislation and best practice, so you can rest assured your staff and your business are in safe hands.

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