It is a requirement of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 as amended, that every employer shall make suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees and other persons who may be affected by their work activities.
Assessments should also consider the specific risks to new and expectant mothers and young persons.
These guidance notes have been produced to assist managers or supervisors to complete Six Town Housing’s risk assessment form.
Other legislation regarding manual handling, display screen equipment and substances hazardous to health, also require risk assessments to be carried out and recorded on the appropriate forms.
Where duties overlap, compliance with the duty in the more specific regulation will normally be sufficient to comply with the corresponding duty in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
The Appendices of this document contain quick reference material such as checklists and flow charts to assist managers or supervisors to produce suitable and sufficient risk assessments.
The reference letters at the beginning of each section below correspond to the relevant section on the form.
This section is for the name of the department, section and the location details of where the task/activity is to be carried out. It may not always be necessary to state a specific location as more generic terms may be applicable, e.g. Point Blue.
This will be a brief description of the task being performed e.g., Health and Safety Advisor Role, grass cutting etc.
You will need to decide who might be harmed. This does not mean listing everyone by name, but rather identifying groups of people (e.g. people carrying out the task or activity, people working in the area, visitors, passers-by etc).
D.Assessment of Risk
Hazard and Cause of Hazard
A hazard is anything with the potential to cause harm or ill-health e.g. slip, trip or fall, electricity, machinery, noise, lifting and handling etc.
You need to work out how people could be harmed. When you work in a place everyday it is easy to overlook some hazards, so here are some tips to help you identify the ones that matter:-
- Walk around your workplace and look at what could reasonably be expected to cause harm.
- Ask your staff or their safety representatives what they think. They may have noticed things that are not immediately obvious to you.
- Check manufacturers instructions or data sheets for chemicals and equipment as they can be very helpful in spelling out the hazards and putting them in their true perspective.
- Check your accident records, these often help identify the less obvious hazards.
- Remember to think about long-term hazards to health (e.g. high levels of noise or exposure to harmful substances) as well as safety hazards.
Write down the hazard and the cause of the hazard – e.g. trip and fall – uneven flooring, damaged floor covering or clutter.
If no significant hazards are identified this should be recorded on the form and no further action is necessary.
Existing Control Measures
You must write down what is already in place to reduce the likelihood of harm or make the harm less serious. This can include how the work is organised, staff training, reference to safety working practices, safety instructions, method statements etc.
Assessment of risk
It is necessary to assess the risk factor of the identified hazards as high, medium or low. To do this is an objective way you can use the Hazard and Severity Index which is set out in Appendix 3.
Further Control Measures Needed
If the existing control measures do not reduce the risk “so far as is reasonable practicable” further action will need to be taken. This section should indicate what additional control measures will be put in place to reduce the risk.
You should be aware that some control measures are much better at reducing risks than others and some are not very effective. The following sequence of risk control measures shows the order of effectiveness:-
- If possible avoid the risk altogether by eliminating the hazard e.g. change the process.
- Substitute the activity for a less hazardous one.
- Isolate (remove the hazard from the worker) or segregate (remove the worker from the hazard).
- Use of a ‘safe system of work’ that reduces the risk to an acceptable level.
- Written safety procedures that those affected know about and understand.
- Adequate supervision.
- Identify training needs and carry out the training.
- Use of information and instruction, e.g. signs, labels, handouts etc.
- Use of personal protective equipment.
Write down here the name of the person who is going to take the action to implement the further control measures needed to reduce the risk and by when.
Write down here the remaining risk after the further control measures have been put in place.
E.Assessment Prepared By
This should be completed by the Manager or Supervisor carrying out the assessment and should indicate his/her position in the organisation and the date when the assessment was completed.
F.Review of Risk Assessment
The Manager or Supervisor carrying out the risk assessment should enter the date for its review. This should be on a regular basis, i.e. every twelve months, following an accident, or following a significant change in the work activity.
If the current risk assessment is still valid then the person carrying out the review should write his/her details in the spaces provided.
APPENDIX 1 – Work Activity Risk Assessment Checklist
The purpose of this checklist is to provide Managers and Supervisors with a quick reference list of areas for consideration. It should be noted that the list is not comprehensive and Managers and Supervisors should draw upon their own knowledge and experience and that of the staff involved in the work activity.
- Is the individual regularly required to work alone?
- Does the employee frequently work outside office hours?
- Does the employee have any medical condition which might impact on their role/the activity taking place?
2.Place of Work
- Is the work carried out:-
-On or close to the highway?
-On or close to animal enclosures?
-On or near open water?
-On construction sites?
-In an office?
-In remote or isolated locations?
-In tenants homes?
-In public buildings?
- Does the work involve entering a confined space?
- Is the work carried out at height?
- Does the work involve working in extremes of temperature?
3.Equipment and Tools
- Does the work involve the use of any of the following items of equipment or tools?
-Edged cutting tools?
-Industrial cleaning equipment?
-Portable hand power tools?
-Grass cutting machinery?
-Any other special equipment?
- Does the work involve the wearing of items of personal protective equipment e.g. eye protection, gloves etc?
4.Materials, Chemicals, Substances Used or Handled
Does the work involve the use of any material, chemical or substance covered by the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 1994 as amended known as CHIP.
If yes, then further information should be obtained from the relevant COSHH assessment sheets.
Does the work involve contact with:-
-Biological agents (bacteria and other micro-organisms)
-Waste body products – human or animal
-Body fluids – human or animal
-Substances with occupational exposure limits
5.Contact with the Public
- Does the work involve contact with the Public:-
-In their own homes
-At an enquiry/reception desk
-In outdoor facilities
-Behind closed doors, on a confidential basis?
- Does the work involve collection of cash from the public?
- Does the work involve contact with infectious/contagious diseases?
6.Use of Road Vehicles
Does the work involve the regular/frequent driving of any of the following vehicles:-
-Personnel Carrier (mini-bus)
-Heavy Goods Vehicle
-Special Vehicle (e.g. gully wagon, ride on mowers etc)
Does the work involve any contact with:
APPENDIX 2 – Risk Assessment Flow Chart
Appendix 3 – Hazard and Severity Index
5 / Probably / Reasonably certain or expected to occur. Likely to occur repeatedly.
4 / Likely / Expected to occur. May occur several times.
3 / Possible / May occur sometime.
2 / Unlikely / Will not usually occur, but is conceivable.
1 / Improbable / So unlikely that the probability is close to zero.
5 / Fatality(ies) / Either single or multiple fatality
4 / Major Injury / Permanent disability, disabling illness
3 / Over 3 day injury / Non-disabling illness; more than 3 working days lost time
2 / Minor injury / Less than 3 working days lost time or no lost time
1 / No injury / No Injury/property damage
RISK FACTOR / (Frequency Index x Severity Index)
1-2 / LOW / Comply with legislation; reduce if practicable, ensure that personnel are competent for the activity.
3-9 / MEDIUM / Comply with legislation; reduce to the lowest level reasonable practicable; written procedures required; only trained personnel to undertake the activity.
10-25 / HIGH / Immediate action required. If there is a risk of serious or imminent danger stop activity until the risk has been reduced to the lowest level reasonably practicable. If the remaining risk is high the activity is only to be undertaking by highly trained, specialist personnel using specific control measures e.g. permits-to-work, specific safe systems of work etc.