Risk Assessments: Our Guide

Safety in the workplace should be at the forefront of every manager, business owner, and staff member's mind. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure the work being completed is done so safely and in a safe environment. Part of this is implementing risk assessments into planning. 

Safety in the workplace should be at the forefront of every manager, business owner, and staff member’s mind. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the work being completed is done so safely and in a safe environment. Part of this is implementing risk assessments into planning. 

Today’s blog provides our guide on risk assessments, including what they are, the different types available, and how we can help you maintain a safe working environment. 

As health and safety consultants in London, we have the experience and knowledge to point you in the right direction, as well as providing your workplace with the proper safety solutions, including our fire risk assessment services. Let’s delve into what risk assessments are and why your business needs them. 

 

Risk assessment form 

 

What Is a Risk Assessment?  

Generally speaking, a risk assessment is a process of recognising hazards in the workplace and evaluating the risks involved concerning the health and safety of workers and their environment. Hazards can be anything from workplace practice to materials and equipment that could potentially cause injury or harm. The risks are measured by looking at the likelihood of the hazard causing injury or harm, then evaluating whether the hazards can be eliminated from the workplace environment and what preventative measures could be put into place to keep them under control. 

 

Why Are Risk Assessments Important? 

Risk assessments are not just an important health and safety practice – they must be in place to comply with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which require the hazard and risk evaluations discussed above. But besides the law, there are many reasons why implementing proper risk assessments is essential for your business management. 

  • Avoid unwanted costs. By contacting Armadillo Safety about our health and safety services, you put yourself in a better financial position. The chances of staff leaving due to a work-related injury are reduced, and you’re much less likely to receive a fine for poor health and safety in the workplace. 
  • Reduce your business’ legal liability. Proper risk assessments prove that you have taken the correct steps to ensure your workplace is hazard-free, so if an incident occurs, you won’t be surprised with unwanted legal fees. 
  • Risk assessments save lives. Some hazards pose much greater risks and in the worst cases, can be fatal. Protect the lives of your employees by implementing proper risk assessments. 

 

Someone filling a risk assessment form 

Different Types of Risk Assessment 

Five types of risk assessments are used when dealing with different hazards and risks. 

Qualitative Risk Assessment.

This is the most common type of risk assessment and can be found in most workplaces. It is based on the best judgement of one individual, who decides whether a hazard is a low risk, medium risk, or high risk. This is calculated using this formula: 

Risk = Severity x Likelihood.  

The individual then takes action depending on their verdict. 

Quantitative Risk Assessment.

This risk assessment involves deciding a hazard’s risk using a numeric value and is commonly used in major-risk workplace environments.  

Generic Risk Assessment.

Often acting as a risk assessment template, this can be used across all departments of a company. It covers risks and hazards of activities that can be carried out at any time and doesn’t have to be adapted or changed even when the environment in which they’re occurring changes. 

Site-Specific Risk Assessment. 

This is a risk assessment specific to a certain area, during a company event, for example. There is no exact template for this as they change depending on the environment and the event’s risks. 

Dynamic Risk Assessment. 

These risk assessments are put in place for spontaneous hazards and are dealt with on the spot. Dynamic risks must also be included in the other risk assessments to prepare for the unknown as much as is possible. 

 

Who is Responsible for Completing and Managing Risk Assessments? 

It is the responsibility of the employer, or self-employed persons, to complete and manage all risk assessments in the company. If you fall into this category and feel you need some assistance carrying these out, do not panic. Our Competent Person Services are exactly what you need. By hiring a member of our team to act as your company’s competent person, you guarantee the safety of your employees and your business. 

 

Close up of risk assessment form

 

When Do You Complete a Risk Assessment? 

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), risk assessments should be carried out “every time there are new machines, substances and procedures, which could lead to new hazards”. It is your responsibility as the employer or self-employed person to ensure this happens. 

 

How Can Armadillo Safety Help? 

We offer an impressive range of health and safety services and can provide you with a competent person to ensure the safety of your business and everyone involved. If this sounds like something that your company would benefit from, or you have any questions about risk assessments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.