Guide

Health and safety risk assessment

Evaluate health and safety risks and decide on precautions

Having spotted the hazards, you then have to decide what to do about them. You don't have to try and remove all the risks but the law requires you to do everything 'reasonably practicable' to protect people from harm.

So, first, look at what you're already doing and the control measures you have in place. Ask yourself:

  • Can I get rid of the hazard altogether?
  • If not, how can I control the risks so that harm is unlikely?

Some practical steps you could take to reduce the hazards you have identified include:

  • try a less risky option
  • prevent access to the hazards
  • organise your work to reduce exposure to the hazard
  • issue protective equipment
  • provide welfare facilities such as first aid and washing facilities
  • involve and consult with staff

Improving health and safety need not cost a lot. For instance, placing a mirror on a dangerous blind corner to help prevent vehicle accidents is a low-cost precaution considering the risks. Failure to take simple precautions can cost you a lot more if an accident does happen.

Involve staff, so that you can be sure that what you propose to do will work in practice and won't introduce any new hazards. See consult your employees on health and safety.