Every business owner is under a duty to manage the health and safety risks in their workplace and this means, as a business owner, you must consider what could cause harm, identify all the risks, decide how you will manage those risk and take steps to avoid any harm.
As a responsible business owner, you probably already have some precautions in place to avoid any company safety incidents, but a thorough risk assessment willtell you whether you are fulfilling all your legal obligations.
Who is responsible for risk assessments?
The employer is always the one responsible for carrying out a risk assessment. As an employer, you can delegate this duty and all responsibility for health and safety in your business to someone else, but you must ensure that they are competent to do so and understand that they may need to seek specialist help.
When do I need to do a risk assessment?
Risk assessments should be carried out whenever the situation at your workplace changes, so if you have new machinery or equipment, begin using new substances or procedures, have an influx of new staff, or an unusual amount of sickness, complaints of stress or accidents. This way, no risks will be over looked and safety measures and training can be put in place to maintain a safe working environment.
Risk assessments should also be carried out in response to any changes for individual employees, so for example, if an employee has been absent for a long time, becomes pregnant or disabled, you will need to revaluate the risks to them.
How do I do a risk assessment?
There are five main steps to completing a risk assessment:
- Identify the hazards – walk around your premises, speak to your employees, consult accident and ill-health records and, if necessary, employ a professional to assist.
- Decide who might be harmed– visitors, staff, warehouse workers, paying particular attention to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, young, disabled or pregnant.
- Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions – managing the risk can include blocking off areas or putting up warning signs – you will not always be expected to remove it altogether.
- Record your findings and implement them – evidencing that you have made proper checks, considered who might be affected and dealt with all the obvious or significant hazards.
- Review your assessment and update if necessary – treat it as an on-going process, updating whenever something changes in your workplace to ensure it is always up to date.
Do I need any qualifications to do a risk assessment?
No. you need no formal training or qualifications in order to carry out a risk assessment. Many employers have years of experience in their industry so can effectively identify and manage all the possible risks quite easily, but many choose to delegate the task to someone else.
You must however remember that as an employer, you are required by law to ensure the person you choose to carry out your risk assessment is competent and capable of meeting your health and safety duties.
Risk Assessment Training
Health and Safety Training Ltd provide risk assessment training coursesto ensure your chosen staff have the expertise to carry out an effective and satisfactory risk assessment at your premises. The courses aredesigned to raiseawareness of the concept of risk assessment, and can encourage a positive workplace culture and attitude towards occupational health and safety.