Who can do a Risk Assessment?
I often get asked this question and the simple answer is ‘anyone confident that they understand what's involved can do a risk assessment.’
If you are not enlisting the help of an expert, then the starting point is understanding what should be included in a risk assessment. In this event then the person responsible should speak to others in the workplace to get their input. Those working in a particular location, doing a particular process or task, etc. will probably know the hazards. The skill is asking the correct questions to establish the hazards. Some hazards may be so obvious to workers that they don’t feel it necessary to point them out. An example could be an open edged loading ramp. It’s obvious not to walk off the edge but the hazard is still there, and someone could be harmed because of it. Therefore, it needs to recorded along with the preventative action.
The HSE highlights a 5-step risk assessment process to help assess the risks in a workplace:
- Identify the hazards
- Decide who might be harmed and how
- Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions
- Record your significant findings
- Review your assessment and update if necessary
For some risks, other regulations require particular control measures. For instance, forklift trucks fall under both PUWER and LOLER regulations and could require inspection by a competent person every 6 or 12 months depending on what the forklift truck is used for.
Always seek further advice and information if you are unsure of which regulations apply.
For more information on risk assessments call 0844 8797286.
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