Skip to main content

The Risk Assessment Process for Designers

Designers Knowledge Base


The regulations require the designer to carry out a risk assessment of his design, eliminate hazards and risks by using the hierarchy of risk control and pass on details of hazards remaining to those who require the knowledge.

The design process

The normal design process involves three stages:

  • Concept design
  • Scheme design
  • Detail design

At each stage, and considering each element of the design in turn, the designer should carry out a risk assessment using the principles of the hierarchy of risk control. This process should ideally result in three documents:

  • A record of the design process and hazards and risks which have been successfully eliminated or mitigated.
  • A list of significant hazards which the designer has been unable to mitigate or eliminate during the design process. One simple way of drawing attention to the remaining hazards is to provide a brief note on the relevant drawings. This information is forwarded to the client and the contractors. This information must be included within the 'pre-construction information'. The prospective principal contractor and/or contractors must then indicate their means of controlling the identified hazards in their tender documentation.
  • A record of hazards for inclusion in the health & safety file. These are the hazards and risks which will remain after the structure is handed to the client and which he must manage during the life of the structure.