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Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment is one of the most important tools that is used in Health and Safety.  It is used to identify what could cause harm to people and how they mat be harmed.  As part of the process, consideration is given to the measures that are currently in place to protect people, as well as any additional actions that may be required to further protect people.

There is nothing complex about using Risk Assessment, but it is commonly misunderstood and sometimes feared.  The reality is that Risk Assessment is often a straightforward process that is simply about thinking things through.

In this section, you'll be guided through the stages of Risk Assessment:

1. Identify what could cause harm to people;

2. Identify who could be harmed, and how;

3. Evaluate the Risk;

4. Determine what is being done and decide if it is enough;

5. Record the significant findings; and

6. Review and, if required, revise the assessment.

As this section is split into stages, start at the first stage and work through the stages until you get to the end.  It is quite a large section with a number of pages but the reason for this is because Risk Assessment is such an important skill to acquire when discussing Health and Safety.

You may also find the Frequently Asked Questions page useful.


Before we go much further, let's consider some definitions:

In simple terms, a hazard is something that could cause harm.  We'll cover this in more detail on the first section.

Risk is the chance, low or high, that someone may be harmed, and the severity of that harm.  We'll evaluate this in the third section.

Risk Assessment is the process of thinking about what could cause harm to people and how, and considering those measures that are in place, or could be brought into place, to protect people from harm in a reasonable and sensible way.

Next Page: Identify what could cause harm to people

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