Legal Article - Health & Safety

Record the significant findings of the Risk Assessment

Employers will need to make a record of their significant findings – the hazards, how people might be harmed by them and what they have in place to control the risks. Any record produced should be simple and focused on the specified risk control measures.

If an employer has fewer than five employees, then they do not need to write anything down. However smaller employers may find it is useful to maintain written records so that they can review assessment at a later date, for example if something changes.

Where the employer does have five or more employees they will be required by law to set down in writing the risk assessment.

Any paperwork produced as part of the risk assessment process should help the employer to effectively communicate and manage the risks within the business. Employees will need to be informed about the hazards that they may face whilst at work and told about the steps taken by their employer to reduce the risk of harm. For most people this does not need to be a big exercise – just note the main points down about the significant risks and what you concluded – and thoroughly brief those employees affected.

When writing down the results of the risk assessment keep it simple, for example ‘Fume from welding – Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) is used and it is regularly checked and serviced’.

Any risk assessment undertaken so as to comply with regulation 3 to the MHSWR’99 must be suitable and sufficient, i.e. it should show that:

· A proper check was made;

· You asked who might be affected;

· You dealt with all the obvious significant hazards, taking into account the number of people who could be involved;

· The precautions are reasonable, and the remaining risk is low;

· You involved your employees or their representatives in the process.

Where the nature of the work changes fairly frequently or the workplace changes and develops, or where workers move from site to site, the employers risk assessment may have to concentrate more on a broad range of risks that can be reasonably anticipated.

If the employers risk assessment identifies a number of hazards, then there may be a need to put each in an order of importance and address the most serious risks first – this called prioritising risk.

Identify long-term solutions for the risks with the biggest consequences, as well as those risks most likely to cause accidents or ill health. Employers should also establish whether there are improvements that can be implemented quickly, even temporarily, until more reliable controls can be put in place.

Remember, the greater the hazard the more robust and reliable the measures to control the risk of an injury occurring will need to be.

Author: Ernie Taylor

Published: 19 Sep 2016

Edited: 19 Sep 2016


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