Who can do a Risk Assessment?

Who can do a Risk Assessment?

I often get asked this question and the simple answer is ‘anyone who is competent to do so’.

So, what is competency? Competence can be described as the combination of training, skills, experience and knowledge that a person has and their ability to apply them to perform a task safely. Other factors, such as attitude and physical ability, can also affect someone’s competence.

The ability to apply knowledge can be illustrated this way; knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, however application is not putting a tomato in a fruit salad!

Therefore, to do a risk assessment, you need to understand what, in your business, might cause harm to people and decide whether you are doing enough to prevent that harm. Once you have decided that, you need to identify and prioritise putting in place, appropriate and sensible control measures.

If you are not enlisting the help of a health and safety professional, 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 be recorded along with the control measures and preventative action.

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the minimum you must do is:

  • identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards)
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk)
  • take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk

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.

You may also consider a ‘dynamic’ risk assessment approach for your employees, particularly peripatetic workers who work on site where risks and hazards can change.

Always seek further advice and information if you are unsure of which regulations apply.


For more information on risk assessments call 0844 8797286 or you can book onto our upcoming Risk Assessment Workshop by clicking this link https://questconsultingservices.eventbritestudio.com/99216596511

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Northern Accountants

Sarah and the team at Quest have provided us HR support since January 2013.

Quest Consulting Services provided us with a comprehensive employment structure with contacts and a handbook and have been on hand to help me deal with the occasional issue I have faced with team members through their telephone support service.

As our personal Consultant, Sarah provides a quality, professional and complete service which is great value for money.

Northern Accountants

Off Limits Corporate Events

Sarah has transformed our HR and has introduced systems that have taken lots of hassle away from staffing issues within our company.

We have worked with Sarah and her team for 5 years and in this time our business has grown considerably. With telephone support available for all our Managers as they need it plus Sarah and her team proactively keeping us updated on changes in legislation we are reassured that we are in safe hands.

The HR software that Quest implemented also helps us keep on top of the routine aspects of HR such as holiday bookings, recording absence, holding personnel records which then allows Sarah and her team easy access to give us relevant advice.

Our Managers have also benefited from workshops run by Sarah to help develop their skills on handling issues such as disciplinary, appraisals, recruitment etc….

The support of Quest is invaluable and provides a much more cost effective solution than employing a HR Manager in house.

Off Limits Corporate Events

10 Associates

Why would anybody NOT have Sarah working 'alongside' their business?

I've known Sarah for many years and she's always been there for me and the business when her wealth of knowledge has been called upon.

We have used Sarah and her team to handle our contracts, handbook and Health & Safety and they are readily available on the telephone when needed or on site at our premises.

Highly recommended.

10 Associates

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