Written by Andy Trainer– Fri 03 Aug 2012
Risk Assessments are required for businesses as under UK law, but small and medium businesses often struggle to assign responsibility for the task or are unaware of what a risk assessment actually involves!
We launched our Risk Assessment course (the only one in the UK accredited by IOSH!) to plug the knowledge gap but we've decided to go one step further by producing a Risk Assessment template.
You can download the template as a Word doc or PDF, and then edit it with your company information. We will run through each item on the document in this post but we do highly recommend training to make sure that you are completing and documenting your risk assessments to meet Government specification.
For a more comprehensive Health & Safety training, we also run a 4-day IOSH Managing Safely course. This workshop also covers risk assessment in more detail and will teach you how to manage health and safety in the workplace in a way that meets UK Health and Safety Regulations.
First, download the risk assessment template:
Obviously, you're going to want your own branding and your own introduction, so the first thing we recommend doing is changing the header to your business name and removing all the text above the table.
This would be an ideal place to write down your expectations of employees so that everyone is clear.
The next step is to start filling out the table! We've added one example to get you started and to show you the sort of information to go in each box.
Here is a breakdown of each category:
Here you will list out all of the potential hazards and risks in your workplace as identified when conducting a risk assessment.
Filling out this section needs a certain level of common sense. Slips, trips, falls and electrical shocks are all sensible hazards in a British workplace. Godzilla attacks are not.
As you find out on the risk assessment course, deciding if a hazard is a risk to your business is about considering if it could actually happen. That way, you have a policy in place to manage it. You don't need a policy to manage a risk that has a 99.9% chance of not happening.
In this section you will go into more detail about why the item is a hazard and who it is a hazard to.
Do you have any current practices in place that manage this hazard? List them all here.
In an ideal world where your business is 100% up to scratch with its health and safety and literally can't do anything at all to improve, this column would be blank.
However, back in the real world there are always actions you take to improve the safety of your colleagues and visitors. Here is where you list them.
This column establishes responsibility. List the person or persons responsible for carrying out the action to manage the hazard.
Make sure that anyone listed in this column is aware of this, or they won't be able to carry out their task.
Assign a date for completion. The more urgent the action, the sooner you want it done.
When the action has been completed, the person responsible should sign and date the risk assessment document.