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    Risk Assessments

    What is the purpose of a risk assessment?

    Published on January 18th, 2023 | by Sophie West

    The purpose of a risk assessment is to identify and manage foreseeable risks and to reduce the level of risk to is as low as is reasonably practicable.

    The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, regulation 3 states that every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work and the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking.

    Where the employer employs five or more employees, he shall record the significant findings of the assessment; and)any group of his employees identified by it as being especially at risk.

    As an employer, whether you run a hairdressers or a large warehouse  you’re legally required by statutory law to protect your employees, and others, from harm. It is imperative that all areas of risk within your business have been either eliminated, reduced, isolated or controlled.

    To do this it is recommended to follow the five steps to risk assessments, which are outlined below.


    The steps needed to manage risk:

    1. 1. Identify hazards
    2. 2. Assess the risks
    3. 3. Control the risks
    4. 4. Record your findings
    5. 5. Review the controls

    Even if the task of risk management is delegated, it is ultimately the responsibility of the responsible person (the employer) within any business to ensure it is effectively completed, which is whom you decide to appoint as your ‘competent person’ is important.


    What are the types of risk assessments?

    • Generic – Covering common hazards for a task or activity
    • Specific – Completed for a specific item of work. Site location, environment and people doing the work.
    • Dynamic (Point of work risk assessment) – Assess risk in an on-the-spot situation.


    Risk Assessments from associated regulation:

    • Manual handling risk assessment
    • DSE analysis
    • COSHH risk assessment
    • Legionella risk assessment
    • DSEAR risk assessment
    • Noise risk assessment
    • Fire risk assessment
    • Asbestos risk assessment
    • Young persons risk assessment
    • New & expecting mothers risk assessment
    • Vibration risk assessment


    What are the benefits of Risk Assessments?

    They can help you to run your business safely by:

    • Reducing the risk of accidents and near misses
    • Improve and enhance your safety culture
    • Have a direct positive effect on your bottom line

    By identifying what activities, substances, machinery, etc could cause harm and who to, you can then decide if you are doing enough to control that harm.

    Sometimes it may mean removing the harm completely, such as noxious fumes, other times it may mean a combination of guards, safe systems of work, additional training or the use of protective equipment, such as when using machinery.


    How to get support with risk assessments:

    No matter how straight-forward or specialised your Risk Assessment requirements are, our team can assist your organisation in fulfilling its risk assessment obligations. From noise risk assessments and asbestos risk assessments, to COSHH risk assessments, lone work risk assessments and more we have the expertise and templates to help. Call us on 01527 571611 or contact us here.


    Useful resources:

    If your business is larger or higher-risk, you can call our team on 01527 571611 who can help or you can find detailed guidance here. If you’re self-employed, check if health and safety law applies to you.

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    Contact Agility R&C

    Agility Risk & Compliance Ltd provide tailored solutions to mitigate risk and improve compliance in Health and Safety, HR, Training, and Occupational Health.

    If you have an enquiry please call us on 0330 043 0051 or email us on

    Existing clients call our 24-hour service and you will be directed to your expert consultant.

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