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Procedure for Risk Assessment

Contractors Knowledge Base


The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations require general risk assessments to be carried out whilst specific assessments are required by the following legislation:

The definition of a risk assessment is "the systematic identification of the hazards that might exist in an establishment or in the carrying out of a task and the evaluation of the risks associated with the hazards". The following procedure is designed to allow these requirements to be met.


The assessor should be provided with appropriate assessment sheets. The regulations define that those carrying out risk assessments should be competent to do so. 'Competent' is defined as those with the necessary 'instruction, training and experience'. Steps should be taken to ensure those assessing risks meet these criteria.


The regulations require that the significant findings of the assessment should be recorded. These are:

  • Hazards identified
  • People at risk identified
  • Control measures in place
  • Additional control measures required:
    1. Using the risk assessment form write down the area or task being assessed in the spaces provided.
    2. Record each section of the area or each stage in the task.
    3. Examine each of these in turn and write down the hazards associated with each.
    4. Examine each hazard in turn and record the significant risks associated with the hazard.
    5. Rate each risk as high, medium or low by examining the risk in the light of any possible injury or incidence of ill health, for example, a major injury or death which could be a frequent occurrence will be assessed as high, an injury which leads to an absence from work of more than three days which occurs fairly regularly would be medium and a minor injury which happens sometimes would be low.
    6. The employees are to be consulted during the course of the risk assessment.
    7. Taking each high risk, decide on the action necessary to eliminate or reduce the risk. High risks should be discussed with the company chief executive before action is taken.
    8. Medium risks should be examined next to identify ways of eliminating or reducing the risk and action taken to introduce the control measures identified.
    9. Low risks are those which should be examined last to identify corrective measures and these should be introduced forthwith.
    10. All control measures identified and put into effect should be written down on the assessment sheet.
    11. In order to assess the effectiveness of the control measures it is necessary to re-assess after a suitable period to ascertain the residual risk areas.
    12. All employees must be informed of the control measure.

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