NEBOSH shares content from the NEBOSH Quick Reference Guide to Risk Assessment for this quick-read definition of risk assessment and the outline process to follow in your workplace.
What is risk assessment?
The objective of risk assessment is to prevent workplace accidents and incidents that might give rise to injuries and/or occupational ill-health. The risk assessment process allows organisations to identify specific hazards and ensure that they are adequately controlled. Preventative controls and precautions can be deployed to help to reduce the risk to an acceptable level or eliminate it.
A risk assessment should generally remain valid for a reasonable period of time and be reviewed periodically unless something happens to suggest it is reviewed sooner, e.g., change in legislation or an incident.
The risk assessment process
Most organisations will have a template to use when carrying out and recording the findings of a risk assessment. However, a risk assessment can be done very informally (depending on the scale and nature of the activity), and often starts with simply observing the workplace as it is operating. The most important part of risk assessment is making sure that suitable controls are put in place.
Risk assessment usually involves the following key stages:
- Identify the hazards
- Identify people at risk
- Evaluate risk and decide if you need to do more
- Record significant findings
- Review and update
Conducting effective risk assessments and using their findings contributes to an effective health and safety management system that will help protect the people and the business of an organisation from any potential threat or harm.
The information in this article provides a useful taster of the NEBOSH pocket guide ‘Quick Reference Guide to Risk Assessment’. We have secured you 20% off, if you purchase 5 or more of the Quick Reference Guide to Risk Assessment for your team, using the code OSHFORUM24_20 which is valid until 31 March 2024.