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Risk assessments is a work flow or some methods that are used to reduce or limit the risks of danger of work and staff’s health & safety. In this method we identify hazards and few factors that may cause inconvenience at work place or it may harm staff’s health & safety. 

Risk assessment can be a ‘very straightforward process based on judgement requiring no specialist skills or complicated techniques.

Stages In Risk Management

  • Identifying the hazards.
  • Evaluating the associated risks.
  • Controlling the risks.

  Regulation 3(1) of the ‘Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992 states:-

  • • Every Employer shall make a suitable and efficient assessment of:-

  a) The risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.
  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 or his undertaking;

  •  For the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on him by or under the relevant statutory provisions.’

Risk Assessments | Identifying Major Hazards

The potential to cause harm. Harm including ill health and injury, damage to property, plant, products or the environment, production losses or increased liabilities.

  • Comparative Methods. e.g. checklists and audits. 
  • Fundamental Methods: e.g. Deviation Analysis, Hazard and Operability Studies, Energy Analysis, Failure Modes & Effects Analysis. 
  • Failure Logic: e.g. Fault Trees, Event Trees & Cause- Consequence diagrams
  • Major hazards associated with complex chemical or nuclear plants, may ‘warrant the need of such techniques as Quantitative Risk Assessment’.
  • In Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) a numerical estimate is made of the probability that defined harm will result from the occurrence of a particular event

Assessing The Risks

The likelihood that a specified undesired event will occur due to the realization of a hazard by, or during work activities or by the products and services created by work activities.

  • Commonly used in the high technology industries 
  • QRA tends to deal with the avoidance of low probability events with serious consequences to the plant and the surrounding environment.
  • Qualitative risk assessment involves making a formal judgement on the consequence and probability using: •

Risk = Severity x Likelihood

Risk Assessments Examples

The likely effect of a hazard may for example be rated:

1.   Major
Death or major injury or illness causing long term disability
2.   Serious
Injuries or illness causing short-term disability
3.   Slight
All other injuries or illnesses 

The likelihood of harm may be rated

1.   High
Where it is certain that harm will occur
2.   Medium
Where harm will often occur
3.   Low
Where harm will seldom occur


Severity of Harm
Likelihood of occurrence

  • This simple computation gives a risk value of between 1 and 9 enabling a rough and ready comparison of risks. 
  • In this case the lower the number, the greater the risk, and so prioritizes the hazards so that control action can be targeted at higher risks.

Risk Assessments | Controlling Risk

  •  Risk Avoidance – This strategy involves a conscious decision on the part of the organization to avoid completely a particular risk by discontinuing the operation producing the risk e.g. the replacing a hazardous chemical by one with less or no risk potential.
  • Risk Retention – The risk is retained in the organization where any consequent loss is financed by the company.  There are two aspects to consider here, risk retention with knowledge and risk retention without knowledge.
  •  Risk Transfer – This refers to the legal assignment of the costs of certain potential losses from one party to another. The most common way is by insurance. 
  • Risk Reduction – Here the risks are systematically reduced through control measures, according to the hierarchy of risk control described in earlier sections.

Types Of Risk Assessments

Within Industry, three types of risk assessment can be distinguished:

  • Assessments of large scale complex hazard sites, such as those found in the process and nuclear industries. These require QRA’s
  • General assessments of the complete range of workplace risks – as required under the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations, 1999. 
  • Risk Assessments required under specific legislation – for example for hazardous substances (COSHH Regulations, 1998), Manual Handling (Manual Handling Operations Regulations, 1992).

Risk Assessments Template

You can use a risk assessment template to help you keep a simple record of:

  • who might be harmed and how
  • what you’re already doing to control the risks
  • what further action you need to take to control the risks
  • who needs to carry out the action
  • when the action is needed by

Risk assessments template Download here. For more information please contact us & follow us for the latest updates.

These typical examples show how other businesses have managed risks. You can use them as a guide to thinking about:

  • some of the hazards in your business
  • the steps you need to take to manage the risks

Do not just copy an example and put your company name to it as that would not satisfy the law and would not protect your employees. You must think about the specific hazards and controls your business needs.

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