Fundamentally, health and safety risk assessments are an examination of things in the workplace could cause harm. These are referred to as hazards and could include such things as substances, equipment, people, work practices, the environment etc.
After identifying the relevant hazards, it needs to be determined which ones are the most significant. This is done by evaluating the level of risk that each hazard presents. The hazards that are only trivial in terms of their level of risk can be disregarded while you concentrate on those hazards that present a significant level of risk.
Risk assessments are one of the cornerstones of effective management of health and safety. However, contrary to what many organisations believe, risk assessments do not need to be overly complicated. In fact - they often work better if they are kept simple.
Keeping things simple is easier said than done though. Unfortunately, many businesses end up getting into a bit of a mess when it comes to risk assessments. We believe that much of the confusion often arises from businesses thinking that they have to have long-winded and complicated risk assessment documents covering every conceivable situation.
For example, one particular town council decided (following what must have been a lengthy and time-wasting risk assessment process) that all hanging baskets in the town should be removed because of concerns that the lamp-posts that they were mounted on could collapse from the weight!
We can help you and your team to get to grips with risk assessment and develop methodologies that work for you, that you understand and that you know will work in practice.