Introduction to Risk Assessment by moti


									         School of Health and Bioscience

        Introduction to Risk Assessment
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999) a
risk assessment must be carried out. This assessment must consider the risk
to the health and safety to employees and others who are connected by the
undertaking of workplace activities. Hence this definition applies to all
members of staff, students, visitors etc.

Who does it apply to
You! Risk assessment is the responsibility of everyone.

What is it?
It is a recorded assessment of the likelihood of harm occurring to an individual
and the steps that are taken to minimise such an occurrence. It requires the
identification of HAZARDS and some assessment of the RISK of the hazard
causing harm

Hazard and Risk
Hazard – anything that could cause harm
Examples of hazards
slipping/tripping, fire, chemicals, moving parts of machinery, pressurized
systems, electricity, noise, dust, manual handling, poor lighting, temperatures,

Risk the chance (i.e. high or low) that somebody will be harmed by the hazard
The extent of the risk will depend upon
The likelihood of that harm occurring
The potential severity of that harm
The population which might be affected by that hazard.

Who might be harmed
Office staff, lectures, technicians, students, cleaners, members of the public,

5 steps
The Health and Safety Executive outline a 5 step approach to risk assessment
STEP 1: Look for the hazards
STEP 2: Decide who might be harmed and how
STEP 3: Evaluate the risks and decide whether the existing precautions are
adequate or whether more should be done
STEP 4: Record your findings
STEP 5: Review your assessment and revise it if necessary for seeing it is
adequately done.

Further information of this can be found at the Health and Safety Executive
website Specifically more details of the 5 step approach to
risk assessment can be found at

In simple terms, if you perceive there may be a foreseeable risk to you or
anyone else during your working activities you must complete a Risk
Assessment. The concept of a risk assessment is NOT to stop activities but is
an effort to make them as safe as is reasonably practicable.

Foreseeable risk
If you are teaching in a class room and you are not doing anything outside of
normal delivery of teaching, there is probably no requirement to complete a
written risk assessment. However you should still perform a visual
assessment of health and safety within the teaching area. This would include
making sure fire exits are clear, ensuring that the room is not over crowded,
ensuring that the electrical equipment does not appear damaged (broken
plug, split cable, etc) and so on. If you think there is a risk to health and safety
you must stop the activity immediately and contact AVTS or facilities on

Laboratory work
If you are working in a laboratory, any activity that you carry out that has a
foreseeable risk must have a written risk assessment. In practice all laboratory
activities must have a written risk assessment. If there is no completed risk
assessment form, the activity will not be allowed to proceed. If there is any
questions please speak to the laboratory technician.

Certain laboratory activities may also need a COSHH assessment.

Risk Assessment the Process
Firstly you need to decide if you need to undertake a risk assessment. See
the flow diagram.

If you decided that you need to formally record a risk assessment you must
complete the new electronic RISK ASSESSMENT form. An example form has
been included. No other form will be accepted

The form needs to be saved and emailed to Gary Doyle to be “signed off”.
This must be done at least 7 day prior to the date of the activity. Once signed
off this will be recorded on a data bases. No activity will be allowed to proceed
if it is not logged on the data base!
            Flow Diagram
            To aid the risk assessment process consult the following flow chart to see
            what action with regard to risk assessment you need to take
                                                   Does you work take place only
                                                   within a class room type area?

No written risk assessment required,
although you should perform a
visual assessment

                                                                      Does your work involve an
                                                                      activity that is likely to cause
                                                             NO       harm?


                      No written risk assessment required,
                      although you should perform a
                      visual assessment

                                                                      Need to complete and record a
                                                                      risk assessment

                                                                        Does your work involve an
                                                                        chemicals or other substances


                                 Must complete and
                                 process a written risk

                                                                        Need to complete COSHH and
                                                                        a written risk assessment form
To see a blank risk assessment form click the following link [Blank Form]

To see an example risk assessment click the following link. [Example]

Reducing the risk
All activities should have the risk reduced to the minimum practicable level.
You should make every effort to ensure that this has happened before
completing the risk assessment. There maybe cases when further risk
reductions are necessary. Hence it is advisable to submit the risk assessment
forms as early as possible.

Further Information
Further information can be found in the following HSE documents: "A Guide
to Risk Assessments" (HSE, 1996) and to "5 Steps to Risk Assessment"
(HSE, 1998). See hyperlinks.

Any Questions?
If you have any questions regarding risk assessment please contact Gary

To top