Risk Assessments in the workplace

Man and woman with hard hats on completing Risk assessments in the workplace

Risk Assessments

Home Health and Safety Risk Assessments in the workplace

Our Workplace Safety Risk Assessment Services

As part of our health and safety service our experienced health and safety consultants can come onsite to assist your business to undertake risk assessments providing you with documentation to help complete necessary safe systems of work.

Examples of risk assessments

    • Machine / Work Activity specific risk assessments (e.g. spray painting/welding)
    • Storage of materials
    • Use of hand tools
    • Working with customers/exposure to violence
    • Lone working
    • Kitchen work
    • Office work

    Employers have a responsibility to ensure a safe and secure working environment, regardless of the industry their business operates. Operating with health and safety at the forefront will protect employees, minimise legal claims and contribute to business success and growth.

    Sign-off sheets for risk assessments should be utilised in the workplace. This means employees sign off they are aware of the risks, understand the risk assessment relevant to their role and have received training on hazards and control measures associated with the tasks they undertake. When signing this sheet, employees are agreeing to work safely and in line with the risk assessments for their area of work.

    Types of Workplaces We Serve

    Our health and safety consultants have extensive experience in a wide variety of sectors, making us an ideal partner for all small and medium-sized companies across Northern Ireland and Scotland. 

    To ensure the safety of employees, especially those working in engineering and manufacturing sites, risk assessments are critical, they are also essential in protecting the environment and maintaining the integrity of operations.

    Our health and safety consultants are highly experienced in advising engineering and manufacturing businesses. They can complete comprehensive risk assessments for machinery and work-specific activities. This involves hazard identification, risk analysis, risk evaluation, control, documentation, and communication with employers to highlight necessary changes and how the risk assessment works.

    Other workplaces, our health and safety consultants cover include;

      • Medical Practices
      • Dental Practices
      • Offices environments

      *Remember* risk assessments must be an ongoing process and businesses must keep them up to date to reflect changes in work processes or machinery, identification of new hazard , or updates to control measures.

      Industries we specialise in

      • Engineering/ Manufacturing /Construction businesses
      • Healthcare providers
      • Charities
      • Hospitality businesses
      • Golf Clubs
      • Professional Services businesses

      What is a Risk Assessment?

      A logical process of identifying workplace hazards associated with work activities,  assessing the likelihood and severity of risks, documenting the control measures currently in place to minimise risk as well as detailing any additional control measures required to reduce or eliminate the risk.

      Lone worker’s risk assessments

      Lone workers include those working by themselves or without close or direct supervision from another member of staff, employers will need to evaluate the effect on lone workers including stress and/or violence as outlined by the HSE and HSENI. HSE Lone workers can include delivery drivers, engineers, cleaners, and anyone working from home or in 24-hour services, for example, all-night petrol stations. There is greater risks associated with those working without supervision, exposing employees to work-related stress or road risks.

      Pregnancy and New Mothers Risk Assessments

      Are you aware when an employee announces they are pregnant, employers are required by law to carry out a pregnancy risk assessment specific to that employee and the role they carry out.

      Businesses are required to carry out an individual risk assessments for;

      • Pregnant employees
      • Breastfeeding
      • Employees that have given birth in the last 6 months.

      The working environment can pose risks to the mother and/or child at various stages through pregnancy.

      • Agility
      • Co-ordination
      • Reach
      • Speed of movement
      • Dexterity

      Pregnancy risk assessments should be managed on a case-by-case basis to help employers and employees understand how risks can be controlled. Alternative work may be necessary for the employee, to ensure they or their baby is not exposed to any potential harm.

      5 reasons your business needs to complete risk assessments.

      Legal compliance

      By law, employers must adhere to specific safety legislation in relation to their industry. Employers may face financial penalties or legal action for failure to comply with safety legislation.  Within GB the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in Northern Ireland it is known as HSENI. These legislative bodies require businesses to complete risk assessments in line with the Health and Safety At Work Act 1975 alongside the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

      Employee well-being

      Proactively creating a safe working environment decreases the risk of injury, illness, and death keeping employee health and well-being front of mind; making employees feel valued when employee well-being is prioritised.

      Financial securities

      By completing risk assessments and mitigating possible hazards in the workplace, businesses can increase financial protection as there are less likely to be major incidents within the workplace where risk assessments and training are implemented. Helping to avoid legal fees and penalties.

      Improve business reputation

      Taking a strong stance on health and safety improves the business’ reputation as it will build trust with employees and other stakeholders. Building trust leads to greater retention of both employees and customers, creating loyalty and helping to attract new customers and stakeholders.

      Increased productivity

      Employees will feel more secure and valued in a work environment with strong safety practices in the workplace, as they are less likely to suffer from work-related injury or illness. Carrying out regular risk assessments helps to streamline and enhance processes.

      FAQs on Risk assessments

      Are risk assessments a legal requirement?

      Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, risk assessments are a legal requirement for businesses.  Under the legislation employers are required to complete frequent risk assessments, safeguarding employees and creating a safe working environment.

      Employers with 5 or more employees have a legal obligation to record the findings of the business’s risk assessments. By carrying out risk assessments, it ensures the business is adhering to laws and contributing to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all stakeholders within the business.

      Risk assessments are integral to maintaining a safe working environment in the UK.

      Why risk assessments are important in the workplace?

      A fundamental aspect of a safe and secure workplace is the completion of risk assessments. Their primary goal is to identify any hazards in the workplace, helping employers to evaluate the risks associated with hazards identified.

      By having a clear understanding of risks associated with the workplace, employers can implement safety strategies helping to manage, reduce and possibly eliminate hazards identified. By doing so, this reduces the risk of workplace accidents, injuries, and ill health. These may have financial implications.

      Risk assessments help in creating a workplace with safety front of mind; thus, employees feel valued in the workplace.

      How many steps to risk assessments are there?

      The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) UK has outlined the necessary process for conducting risk assessments, this includes;

      1. Identifying the hazards; the initial first step is to recognise the potential hazards in the workplace, this may vary from machinery, processes, substances, and any work practices.
      2. Decide who potentially could be harmed and in what way: identifying the hazard isn’t enough, the next step is to understand who could be harmed and how. This involves all stakeholders of the business who could be onsite.
      3. Determine the risks and agree on precautions: next steps include evaluating the level of risk associated with the hazard and determining necessary measures to reduce the risk. Taking into consideration the likelihood of and severity of the risk and establishing control measures.
      4. Recording findings and implementing them: Being based in the UK, if your business has 5 or more employees, there is a legal obligation for employers to have risk assessment records. These records should include; hazards identified, how individuals may be harmed and the necessary steps you have taken to control risks. Recording isn’t enough, you must implement the necessary measures.
      5. Review your assessment and improve if required: this is not a once-and-done task, frequent reviews should be carried out. This will ensure the company is keeping up with industry best practices and taking all precautions where needed.

      Risk assessments are a proactive measure to ensure all personnel involved in the business are working in a safe environment.

      When should risk assessment be carried out?

      Risk assessments should be carried out when;

      1. Before starting a new process or task: it is vital to carry out risk assessments. This includes new machinery, substances, or when undertaking a new procedure or work practice.
      2. Updates to existing procedures or tasks: another risk assessment is required when updates happen to existing processes or tasks in the company. Changing processes may introduce new risks, which the business is not prepared for; whether the change is a new workshop layout or new equipment.
      3. Following a near miss or incident: businesses must carry out risk assessments following a near miss or accident, helping to determine what has gone wrong and how to prevent a similar situation moving forward. The business should look at the causes and contributing factors to the near miss/incident.
      4. Annually: we recommend reviewing risk assessments frequently, most on an annual basis. This helps to ensure all potential risks are accounted for and measures are taken to control them. How often risk assessments are reviewed comes down to the nature of work, frequent changes and modifications will require updated risk assessments.
      5. New legislations: the HSE/HSE NI may bring out new legislation concerning various procedures, which require the business to update their risk assessments ensuring to comply with HSE/HSE NI legislation.

      Contact Us

      Are you a start-up company or when was the last time you reviewed your risk assessments? Our qualified and expert health and safety consultants can guide your business to complete risk assessments to a high standard to meet HSE/HSENI legislation.

      Don’t leave your business liable for injuries or accidents that occur in the workplace, contact us today to schedule your onsite Health and Safety visit.

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