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Health and Safety Risk Assessment

5 Steps of Risk Assessment – Safeti School

In this Episode of Safeti School, we take a look at 5 steps of risk assessment. Listen to this short episode as an introduction and if you want to learn more, check our Health and Safety Risk Assessment Beginner’s Guide.

We like to make communication easier for you, so if you found this podcast helpful make sure, to share it with your workforce or your team as a toolbox talk or safety moment!

Here’s a summary of the 5 simple steps to complete a health and safety risk assessment:

Step 1: Determine the key Hazards

Ask yourself ‘what could harm someone and how?’ Firstly, check accident records to identify any previous workplace injury or illness. Secondly, refer to manufacturer’s guidelines for safe guidance on how to operate plant and equipment.

We mustn’t forget to consider non-routine or infrequent work activities. It is essential to also consider the potential long-term impacts to health, such as from exposure to noise or dust.

Unless the risk is increased during work activities, ‘everyday’ risks should not be included. Such as using a kettle to boil water in the kitchen, for example. Or walking up and down a flight of stairs.

Step 2: Identify ‘Who might be harmed?’

Ask yourself who will be exposed to a particular risk. This might be primarily your own employees. But, there are also other groups of people (or animals!) who may be affected in different ways. A good example would be the impact of a construction project being carried out in a live hospital environment. Those affected may include patients, staff and the general public, for example.

Step 3: Assessing the Risk – Severity and Likelihood

  These two elements should be assessed and given a level of significance e.g. high, medium or low. Severity – How bad is the outcome likely to be i.e. the severity of injury or illness? Likelihood – What are the chances of it happening with the current controls in place?

Step 4: Evaluate Risks & add Controls 

We need to decide if the risks are at a reasonable or acceptable level, or if we need to put further control measures in place. For those that require further controls, we need to determine and record specific actions. Responsibility should be assigned to those who are required take action and a programme for completion agreed.

Step 5: Record and Review

Your risk assessment should be recorded and shared with the relevant people. Make sure to only include the significant risks. Keeping it simple and easy to read is important for training purposes.

5 Steps of Risk Assessment - Animated Video

Try the 5 Steps of Risk Assessment!

We’ve created an Approved Trainer-led, online course for Risk Assessment. The course provides a step-by-step, interactive tutorial & 1-to-1 follow-up to give you the confidence to carry out Risk Assessment. Access the FREE Module.

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5 Steps of Risk Assessment: Additional Resources

Related Episodes: Hazard and RiskImproving Internal Communications

Safeti – pay us a visit at safeti.com for more free content, learning materials and support services

Richard Collins – connect with the podcast host on Linkedin

Safeti School: for more free, educational HSE content visit the Safeti School podcast page

Richard Collins

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