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Managing Safely

Workbook

Module 2
Assessing risk

Outline Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5 Module 6 Module 7 Module 8


Course version 4.0 | Creation date April 2016 | Workbook version 4.0
Images used in this workbook and online istockphoto.com

Contents
Key points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Definitions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
What is a risk assessment?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Legal requirements for risk assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
What is suitable and sufficient?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Types of assessment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Numerical risk assessments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Qualitative risk assessments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Generic assessments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
The risk assessment process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Who should complete the assessment?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
A basic risk assessment procedure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Assessing work activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Risk assessment records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Reviewing risk assessments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Making risk assessment a worthwhile exercise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Module summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Sources of further information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Appendix 1 Risk assessment template . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Appendix 2 Hazard checklists. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

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Key points
This module covers:

the identification of workplace hazards;

the definition of the words hazard, risk, and hazardous event;

the risk assessment process, considerations and risk rating systems (using
the 5x5 matrix); and

risk control options reducing likelihood / consequence.

In this module you will:

begin to understand what risks are;

learn what a risk assessment is; and

understand how to carry out a risk assessment.

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 3


Introduction
We all make assessments many times each day about undesirable consequences
that may arise from our actions. For example, although driving at 85mph on the
motorway may make your journey shorter by a few minutes, you run the real risk of
being caught speeding, as well as being prosecuted for driving without due care and
attention, and increasing the severity of an injury should an accident occur.

However, in making the judgement we have to correctly evaluate the risk. This will
depend on the probability and consequences of our actions and whether they are of
an acceptable level.

Definitions

Something with the potential to


Hazard
cause harm.

This takes place when someone or


Hazardous event something interacts with a hazard
and allows it to cause harm.

The chance that the hazardous event


Likelihood will occur. This could be anything
from low to high.

The outcome of the hazardous event


in terms of how serious it could be.
Consequence
Death, hospital treatment or a minor
injury?

RISK= The likelihood that harm from a


Risk
Likelihood x particular hazard is realised.
Consequence

The means of making sure that the


Risk assessment most significant workplace risks are
managed and controlled.

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What is a risk assessment?
Risk assessment is an essential part of planning how health and safety will be
managed at work. Risk assessment methods are used to decide on priorities and to
set objectives for eliminating hazards and reducing risks.


How does your organisation carry out risk assessments?
Take the time now to find out what risk assessments have been carried
out in your workplace and list them here.
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Also consider whose responsibility it is to carry out risk assessments and


whether your organisation has any guidance on how this should be done. List
here what information you find.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 5


A risk assessment will help to:

1. Identify whether risks are being properly controlled.

Are we providing
Have we workers with safe
provided the system of work
right equipment training, information
for the job? etc., so that they know
Are we protecting how to work safely?
our workers,
the public and Do we check
others from any to make sure
foreseeable risks? things are
OK?

2. Meet the legal requirements.

There are various health and safety laws that require employers to undertake risk
assessments. These apply to work activities, chemicals, plant and equipment and
the tasks that people do. If health and safety laws are broken, your organisation
could be prosecuted and fined.

3. Show that you are managing health and safety properly.

If risks are identified correctly and everyone works safely, then the organisation will
be more efficient workers should be happier at work and enjoy their work knowing
that they are safe. Money will not be wasted on dealing with incidents at work and
this will hopefully ensure the organisation does not get prosecuted.

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Legal requirements for risk assessment
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require that:

Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment:

a) of the risks to the health and safety of his employees, and


b) of the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment.

In practical terms this means carrying out a complete assessment of all work
activities and areas of the site where there is a risk of someone being injured. Where
employees work off site (e.g. people working from home, people working outdoors
or at another employers site), then a risk assessment of their particular activities
and locations should be carried out.

Where there are five or more employees, the significant findings of the risk
assessment must be recorded and made available to employees who are identified
as being particularly at risk.

In addition, there are other specific Regulations, which require employers to carry
out risk assessment. These include:

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH)


Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations
Health and Safety (First Aid at Work) Regulations
Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations
Manual Handling Operations Regulations
Control of Noise at Work Regulations
Control of Asbestos Regulations
Work at Height Regulations
Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 7


The main requirements are:

What and Who has to


Regulation Requirement who has to be carry out the
assessed? assessment?
Management To identify Work activities, Employer
of Health and measures that the workplace,
Safety at Work need to be taken equipment, people.
Regulations 1999 to comply with
the law. To carry Risks to employees
Management out a general risk and third parties.
Regulations assessment.
Manual Handling To ensure all All manual Employer
Operations manual handling handling activities
Regulations 2002 activities are that pose a
identified. risk of injury to
employees.
Health and Safety To assess Workstations Employer
(Display Screen computer used by users
Equipment) workstations. and operators
Regulations 1992 office, home
and peripatetic
DSE / VDU workers.
Regulations
Control of To ensure Risks to health Employer
Substances persons who of hazardous
Hazardous to may be exposed substances
Health Regulations to hazardous chemical and
2002 substances are biological agents,
not affected by dusts, etc.
COSHH exposure.
Regulations Employees and
third parties.
The Work at Height To ensure all Applies to all work Employer.
Regulations 2005 work at height is at height where Person in control of
assessed. there is a risk of a the building.
fall liable to cause
personal injury.
Personal To ensure that The efficiency of Employer
Protective any PPE provided PPE in limiting
Equipment at for use at work is exposure.
Work Regulations suitable.
1992 Employees.

PPE Regulations

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What and Who has to
Regulation Requirement who has to be carry out the
assessed? assessment?
Noise at Work To limit potential Activities / areas Employer.
Regulations 2005 exposure to high where noise levels Person in control
levels of noise. exceed 80 dB(A). of the building or
work activity.
Employees and
third parties.
Regulatory Reform To ensure the Risk of fire Person in control
(Fire Safety) Order workplace has throughout the of the building
2005 suitable measures building, including occupier, landlord,
to prevent and deal provision of fire managing agent.
RRO with fire. safety equipment, Tenants.
training,
information.

Employees,
occupants
of buildings,
neighbours.
Control of To ensure that The building and The duty-holder
Asbestos at Work properties have its structure. the person in
Regulations 2012 been surveyed control of the
/ assessed for building occupier,
any asbestos- landlord, managing
containing agent.
materials. Tenants.

If existing assessments have been carried out under the specific requirements
detailed above, then there is no need to repeat them under the Management of
Health and Safety at Work Regulations. The Responsible Person should take the
opportunity to review existing assessments to check they are still valid and being
followed.

Risk assessment is not just concerned with injuries in the workplace, but should
also consider the possibility of occupational ill health. Health risks fall into four
categories:

1. Chemical e.g. paint, solvents, exhaust fumes.


2. Biological e.g. bacteria, moulds.
3. Physical e.g. noise, vibration.
4. Psychological e.g. stress.

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 9


List some of the work tasks that are your responsibility, along with the
locations that they occur in.
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What about common areas stairs, corridors, etc. Who is responsible for
assessing these locations?
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List some of the activities that occur in your own workplace that carry a risk of
occupational ill health.
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What is suitable and sufficient?
A risk assessment will be deemed to be suitable and sufficient if it:

identifies the significant risks arising from work activities;


enables the employer to identify and prioritise the measures that may be
required to comply with the law;
is appropriate to the nature of the work being undertaken; and
remains valid for a reasonable period of time.

In practice, this means that the assessment should not be overcomplicated, but
should be thorough.

An assessment should be systematic, examining all activities and parts of the site in
a logical way. It should:

identify the hazards involved in the activity;


look at the activity as it is carried out, not how people think it is done;
look at particular groups of people who may be at risk (the young, the elderly,
the less able-bodied, visitors, contractors etc.); and
take account of any control measures that are currently being used.

In any workplace there will be an infinite number of hazards, ranging from trailing
cables, loose floor tiles, equipment, electricity, people and the manner in which
tasks are carried out, through to more complicated issues such as exposure to
dangerous substances.

Some workplace hazards

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 11


In many workplaces these hazards will be adequately controlled by existing
measures and therefore the hazard should cause little concern. However, where
hazards are not properly managed, then the chance of them causing an accident will
be higher. It is these hazards that an employer should concentrate on if accidents
are to be eliminated.

List some hazards that occur in your own workplace.


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What methods are in place to control workplace hazards?
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Types of assessment
The process of risk assessment requires a person to step back and evaluate how
serious the risk is. There are several methods of estimating the level of risk. The
most common methods involve calculating a number to indicate how high the risk
is.

Numerical risk assessments


The following method can be applied by using a very basic equation:

RISK RATING = Likelihood x Consequence

HAZARD POTENTIAL
The potential to cause harm. This will vary in severity and the ratings are applied
as follows:

Rating classification

3 Major Death or major injury (as defined in RIDDOR)

Injuries involving loss of more than seven days


2 Serious
work

Other injuries involving loss of up to seven days


1 Slight
work

LIKELIHOOD
The probability that the hazard will be realised. The ratings are applied as
follows:

Rating classification

3 High Harm will certainly occur

2 Medium Harm will occasionally occur

1 Low Harm will seldom occur

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RISK RATING
The risk rating is the combination of the hazard rating multiplied by the
likelihood rating, which may be applied as follows:

Rating classification
High
6-9 Requires immediate remedial action
priority
Medium Areas of concern that require the implementation of
3-5
priority remedial action as soon as is practicable
Low
1-2 Action required in due course
priority

For the purposes of the IOSH Managing Safely Project, you will need to use a 5x5
matrix that IOSH has adopted for all of its courses. The principles are the same.

Hazard / Consequence would be ranked as:

1) Insignificant no injury
2) Minor minor injuries needing first aid
3) Moderate up to seven days absence
4) Major more than seven days absence
5) Catastrophic death.

Likelihood could be ranked as:

1) Very unlikely one in a million chance of the hazardous event happening


2) Unlikely theres a one in 100,000 chance of the hazardous event happening
3) Fairly likely theres a one in 10,000 chance of the hazardous event happening
4) Likely theres a one in 1,000 chance of the hazardous event happening
5) Very likely theres a one in 100 chance of the hazardous event happening

Unacceptable
5 5 10 15 20 25 17 25 Stop activity and make
immediate improvements
4 4 8 12 16 20 Tolerable
10 16 Look to improve within
3 3 6 9 12 15 specified timescale
CONSEQUENCE

Adequate
2 2 4 6 8 10 59 Look to improve at next review

1 1 2 3 4 5 Acceptable
14 No further action but ensure
1 2 3 4 5 controls are maintained
LIKELIHOOD

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 15


Qualitative risk assessments
Another popular method is to consider whether the risks are adequately controlled
and if anything further can be done to make the job safer.

The HSE has published useful guidance on how to carry out risk assessments. The
leaflet entitled Risk Assessment A brief guide to controlling risks in the workplace
(INDG163 rev.4 ) provides practical guidance.

Action
What are
What is the Who could be recommended
the existing
hazard? affected? for
controls?
improvement

Generic assessments
Where there are similar activities, with similar hazards and risks associated with
them, a general risk assessment can be made that covers the basic features. This
is known as a generic or model assessment. Examples of where this may be useful
include:

offices, where identical activities are carried out at different locations (e.g.
opening mail and parcels);
retailers who operate the same type of shop, carry out similar activities but at
different locations (e.g. unloading of delivery vehicles); and/or
activities that are regularly carried out, but at different locations (e.g. removal
men handling furniture).

Care should be taken to ensure that, when a generic assessment is applied to an


individual activity, all hazards and control measures are checked against the generic
assessment. Where anything is different, this should be noted and investigated
further.

The level of detail in the risk assessment will largely depend upon the level of risk.
The greater the risk, the more detail is required in the risk assessment. For jobs
where people carry out various tasks in different conditions at a variety of sites, e.g.
tree surgeons, a generic risk assessment could cover a broad range of hazards and
risks, but a site-specific assessment should be carried out at each site.

The findings of any assessments must be followed up by an action plan, which is


designed to improve health and safety standards.

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What skills do you think are needed to carry out a risk assessment?
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The risk assessment process
The process of risk assessment requires a person to step back and evaluate how
serious the risk is. Risk assessment doesnt have to be a complicated process
what is important is that it should concentrate on those significant hazards that
could cause serious harm or affect a number of people. There are several methods
of estimating risk, with the most common methods involving calculating a number
to indicate how high the risk is. However, before this can be estimated the assessor
must ensure that a plan has been developed so that proper consideration can be
given to how the workplace or activity is to be assessed and who is to be involved in
the assessment.

Who should complete the assessment?


Competent people must be given the task of completing the assessments. A
competent person has the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience to
identify the risks arising from a situation and the measures needed to control them.

Utilising local managers not only gets them


involved in health and safety, but uses
their knowledge of the working practices
to complete the assessments. Many
organisations use a team approach, which
provides extra assurances that all foreseeable
events have been considered.

For any assessment to be useful, employees


must be involved either directly in the
assessment process itself, or indirectly
through discussions.

Risk assessors should have been given some


practical training so they understand:

the requirement for risk assessments;


the difference between hazards and risks;
how to undertake an assessment,
including how to complete any forms; and
where they should get help from if they are unsure.

Certain work processes that are particularly complex may need more detailed risk
assessments, using methods such as fault tree analysis. Where these assessments
are necessary, employers should contact specialist risk assessment consultants
for further advice. Where a number of different people are to be involved in the
assessment process, it is essential that a standard approach is used. The key to this
is to develop a risk assessment procedure that everyone can follow.

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A basic risk assessment procedure

1. Identify the hazards


2. Estimate the risks

3. Evaluate the risks

4. Record your findings

5. Review your findings

1. Step 1: Identify the hazards

Walk around your venue and look at what could reasonably be expected to cause
harm.

Ask other people what they think. They may have noticed things that are not
obvious to you.

Visit the HSE website. HSE publishes practical guidance on where hazards occur
and how to control them. There is much information on the hazards that might
affect you.

If you are a member of a trade association, contact them. Many produce very
helpful guidance.

Check manufacturers instructions or data sheets for chemicals and equipment


as they can be very helpful in spelling out the hazards and putting them into
perspective.

Remember to think about long-term hazards to health (e.g. high levels of noise
of exposure to harmful substances) as well as safety hazards.

2. Estimate the risks and who they affect

For each hazard you need to be clear about who might be harmed; it will help you
identify the best way of managing the risk. That doesnt mean listing everyone

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 19


by name, but rather identifying groups of people (e.g. people working in the
storeroom, or passers-by).

Remember:

Some workers have particular requirements, e.g. new and young workers,
migrant workers, new or expectant mothers and people with disabilities may all
be at particular risk. Extra thought will be needed for some hazards.

Cleaners, visitors, contractors, maintenance workers etc who may not be in the
venue all the time.

Members of the public, if they could be hurt by your activities.

Ask others if they can think of anyone you may have missed.

3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions

Having spotted the hazards, you then have to decide what to do about them. The
law requires you to do everything reasonably practicable to protect people from
harm. You can work this out for yourself, but the easiest way is to compare what you
are doing with good practice.

First, look at what youre already doing, think about what controls you have in place,
and how it is organised. Then compare this with the good practice and see if theres
more you should be doing to bring yourself up to standard. In asking yourself this,
consider:

Can I get rid of the hazard altogether?

If not, how can I control the risks so that harm is unlikely?

When controlling risks, apply the principles below, if possible in the following order:

Try a less risky option (e.g. switch to using a less hazardous chemical).

Prevent access to the hazard (e.g. by guarding).

Organise work to reduce exposure to the hazard (e.g. put barriers between
pedestrians and traffic).

Issue personal protective equipment (e.g. clothing, footwear, goggles etc.).

Provide welfare facilities (e.g. first aid and washing facilities for removal of
contamination).

Improving health and safety need not cost a lot. For instance, placing a mirror on a
dangerous blind corner to help prevent vehicle accidents is a low-cost precaution
considering the risks. Failure to take simple precautions can cost you a lot more if an
accident does happen.

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Step 4: Record significant findings and implement them

Putting the results of your risk assessment into practice will make a difference
when looking after people at your workplace. Writing down the results of your risk
assessment, and sharing them, encourages you to do this. When writing down your
results, keep it simple for example, Tripping over rubbish; bins provided, staff
instructed, weekly housekeeping checks.

A risk assessment does not need to be perfect, but it must be suitable and
sufficient. You need to be able to 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; and

you involved your staff or their representatives in the process.

Step 5: Review your risk assessment and update if necessary

Things are likely to change between first conducting your risk assessment and your
ongoing day-to-day operations. It makes sense, therefore, to review what you are
doing on an ongoing basis.

Look at your risk assessment and think about whether there have been any
changes. Are there improvements you still need to make? Have other people
spotted a problem? Have you learnt anything from accidents or near misses? Make
sure your risk assessment stays up to date.


A risk assessment template form is given in Appendix 1 use this to
compile a risk assessment for a task within your organisation. Choose
an area or department that you have responsibility for. Make a list of the
activities that take place in that area / department.
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Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 21


Assessing work activities
As we have seen earlier, there are legal requirements to
carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments. These
assessments may be general or specific in nature, so to
avoid repetition, many employers decide to ensure that the
general risk assessment covers all those areas where there
is a specific requirement for assessment.

For example, when considering cleaning activities, the


following issues should be covered:

Manual handling of equipment.


Exposure to chemicals.
Types and use of personal protective equipment.
General work practices.

Instead of carrying out individual assessments (for chemicals, manual handling, PPE,
etc.) it is far easier and more efficient to carry out a general assessment of all the tasks
the cleaner does, ensuring that COSHH, PPE and manual handling etc. are suitably
covered by the general assessment. This should result in a single risk assessment,
which cuts down on paperwork. The HSE website has some risk assessment case
studies you may find useful www.hse.gov.uk/risk/casestudies/index.htm

Where the general risk assessment has identified that a more detailed risk assessment
is required, e.g. for complicated manual handling tasks or use of chemicals, then this of
course can still be carried out using a more specific risk assessment protocol.

Assessments should consider all foreseeable events. For example,


in most circumstances, the likelihood of a person being struck by
lightning is extremely remote. However, if people are working outdoors
during inclement weather, then this event is a real possibility and
should be included in the risk assessment.

The following examples of different approaches to risk assessments, along with some
commonly occurring workplace hazards, may help you plan the best approach to
carrying out risk assessments in your own workplace.

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Health and Safety
Executive

Example risk assessment for a cleaning contractor (shopping


centre concourse)

centre concourse)
Setting the scene be dangerous and taking HSE guidance into account;
talked to safety representatives, and other staff, to learn Important reminder
This company provides commercial cleaning services to from their experience, and identify staff needs; and
businesses, employing 60 full- and part-time cleaners. talked to the shopping centre managers and agreed This example risk assessment shows the kind of
They have won a contract to clean all concourse areas, issues such as: approach a small business might take. Use it as a
including outer entrance areas, of a shopping centre. lines and frequency of communication between guide to think through some of the hazards in your
the cleaning company and the shopping centre business and the steps you need to take to control

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk


The shopping centre is open from 8.00 am to 5.30 pm, management; the risks. Please note that it is not a generic risk
every day, and has 24-hour security. General cleaning, facilities and equipment available to the cleaners, assessment that you can just put your company
by four cleaners, is done from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, and including storage space and welfare facilities; name on and adopt wholesale without any thought.
more detailed cleaning, by six cleaners, from 5.00 pm reporting of near-miss accidents (eg to members of This would not satisfy the law and would not be
to 9.00 pm. An agency worker covers sick and holiday the public) to shopping centre management and risks effective in protecting people.
leave. A supervisor is in charge of each shift. they discover, such as damaged floor tiles;
the security of cleaning equipment and substances, Every business is different you need to think
Rest facilities for cleaners, including toilets and a to ensure only trained cleaners can access/use them; through the hazards and controls required in your
small kitchen, are provided at the shopping centre and business for yourself.
management offices. Cleaning machines, materials and the fire procedures for cleaners.
other equipment are securely stored there.
2 The manager then wrote down who could be harmed controlled and monitored. He put a copy of the risk
How was the risk assessment done? by the hazards and how. assessment up in the staff kitchen for all staff to see,
and made it part of the induction process for new staff,
The contracts manager followed the guidance in 3 For each hazard, the manager wrote down what including agency workers. Putting the risk assessment
Five steps to risk assessment (www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/ controls, if any, were in place to manage these hazards. into practice, the manager decided to tackle the most
indg163.pdf). They then compared these controls to the good important things first. This included identifying when
practice guidance on the HSE website. Where existing actions would be done and who would do them. As
1 To identify the hazards, the contracts manager: controls were not considered good enough, the each action was completed, it was ticked off the plan.
manager wrote down what else needed to be done to
looked at HSEs website for advice on controlling risks control or eliminate the risk. 5 The manager decided to review and update the
in the cleaning industry (www.hse.gov.uk/cleaning/ risk assessment every year, or straightaway if major
index.htm) and at Business Link for advice on employing 4 The manager discussed the findings of the risk changes in the workplace happened including
temporary workers (www.businesslink.gov.uk/); assessment with staff, making sure they understood changes in the use of equipment or chemicals.
Example of a risk assessment for a cleaning contractor (shopping

walked around the concourse, noting things that might the risks of the job and how these risks would be
Example risk assessment: Cleaning contractor (shopping centre concourse) 1 of 4 pages

Source: HSE website

23
Health and Safety
Executive

Company name: Smith and Jones Cleaners Date of risk assessment: 1/8/07

What are the Who might be harmed and how? What are you already doing? What further action is Action by Action by Done
hazards? necessary? whom? when?

Slips, trips and Staff and others, including the public, risk The right cleaning equipment is used for the right job, and staff Periodic toolbox talks to raise Shift supervisors 7/8/07 6/8/07
falls injuries such as fractures and bruising if follow safe systems of work. awareness of slips and trips at least once
they trip over objects, or slip on spillages Anti-slip matting at entrances. risks. every 8 weeks
or on wet floors, and fall. Staff monitor entrances for wet floor surfaces walked in.
Warning cones placed around spillages, and removed as soon as Remind staff that small Shift supervisors 7/8/07 6/8/07
spillage clear and floor dried. spillages should be cleaned
Staff do not leave cleaning materials/equipment unattended. dry if appropriate, absorbent
Cleaning of stairs done outside of trading hours. paper towels can be used.
Most cleaning machines used have no trailing cables; for
machines with cables, cleaners use socket nearest to where they Cleaners reminded to wear Shift supervisors 7/8/07 6/8/07
are working and put out hazard cones. sensible shoes, eg flat shoes
Cleaning of escalators and lifts done outside trading hours, and with a good grip.
to a safe system of work (closed off and isolated, with lift doors
open). Remind cleaners to report Shift supervisors 7/8/07 6/8/07
All areas well lit. damage to floor surfaces to
their supervisor.

Contact with Staff risk getting skin problems such as Long-handled mops/brushes, and appropriate gloves, provided Staff reminded to report any Supervisors 7/8/07 6/8/07
bleach and dermatitis, and eye damage, from direct and staff trained in their use. health problems they think may
other cleaning contact with bleach and other cleaning All staff trained in the risks, use and storage of cleaning come from cleaning, and to
chemicals chemicals, eg solvents and detergents. chemicals and wear personal protective equipment as instructed. check for dry, red or itchy skin
Vapour may cause breathing problems. Cleaning chemicals marked irritant substituted, where possible, on their hands.
for milder alternatives.
Staff reminded to wash gloves Supervisors 7/8/07 6/8/07
and aprons after use.

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Example risk assessment: Cleaning contractor (shopping centre concourse) 2 of 4 pages

24
Health and Safety
Executive

What are the Who might be harmed and how? What are you already doing? What further action is Action by Action by Done
hazards? necessary? whom? when?

Musculoskeletal Staff risk problems such as back pain if All staff trained in lifting safely, and follow safe systems of work. Remind staff to tell supervisor Supervisors 7/8/07 6/8/07
disorders (MSDs) they try to lift objects that are heavy and/ All staff using cleaning machines trained in their use, according if a trolley has defective wheels
and injuries or awkward to carry, such as cleaning to manufacturers instructions. so it can be taken out of use.
machines or heavy waste bags, or if they Trolleys provided for moving bags of waste and staff use them.
are often required to work in awkward Staff do not overfill bags and buckets.
postures. Rubbish skip emptied daily by subcontractors meaning waste
bags are not stacked high.
Mopping systems have a long-handled wringer, and a bucket on
wheels to reduce lifting and carrying.
Long-handled mops, brushes and litter pickers provided to
reduce need to stretch and stoop.
Cleaning machines stored near point of use.

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk


Work at height Staff risk bruising and fracture injuries if No ladders policy. No further action needed at this
Eg cleaning of they fall from any height. All high-level cleaning done by trained staff working from floor stage.
windows and level, using telescopic poles with cleaning tools attached.
fascias

Machine Staff and others risk injury from improper Machines provided are the right ones for the job. Cleaners reminded that if they Supervisor 7/8/07 6/8/07
cleaning of use of the machine, eg if the machine Cleaners trained in the safe use of machines. have doubts about the safety of
concourse, and were to buck and hit feet or ankles, or if Pre-use checks done for damaged plugs, cables and on/off a machine they are not to use
outer areas of careless driving results in a pedestrian switches. it and to inform their supervisor
entrances being struck. Machines regularly examined and maintained by competent immediately.
person.

Verbal abuse or Staff may suffer verbal abuse, and Staff trained in dealing with difficult and/or confrontational Supervisors reminded to Manager 7/8/07 4/8/07
assault possibly assault, from members of the situations. investigate all instances of
public and others, particularly if working Staff issued with means of two-way communication, supervisor verbal abuse and inform
in quiet or remote areas. checks welfare periodically. contract manager of findings
Staff trained to make supervisor aware when they are working in and action taken.
a remote location.
Staff report all instances of abuse.

Example risk assessment: Cleaning contractor (shopping centre concourse) 3 of 4 pages

25
Health and Safety
Executive

What are the Who might be harmed and how? What are you already doing? What further action is Action by Action by Done
hazards? necessary? whom? when?

Electrical Staff risk electric shocks or burns from Staff trained to perform pre-use checks on cables, switches Remind staff to do pre-use Supervisors 7/8/07 6/8/07
faulty electrical equipment or installation, and sockets before using electrical appliances. checks before using electrical
or from misuse of electrical appliances. Electrical installation tested and maintained by competent people appliances.
according to a planned schedule.
Staff trained in basic electrical safety.

Extremes of Staff working outside may suffer Suitable personal protective equipment provided for staff working No further action needed at this
weather discomfort and possibly ill health from outdoors. stage.
exposure to poor weather.

Collecting waste Staff emptying waste bins, particularly in Staff trained in safe systems of work and provided with suitable Pin up a notice in the staff Manager 7/8/07 4/8/07
toilets, risk potentially serious injury from tools (litter pickers) and personal protective equipment. kitchen reminding staff of
sharp objects, including needles. dangers from sharp objects.

Charging and Staff risk burns from contact with battery Only authorised, trained staff do this job, wearing suitable Put up sign setting out the Manager 7/8/07 4/8/07
storage of acid when charging batteries. personal protective equipment and following a safe system of charging procedure at the
batteries work. charging point.
Well ventilated area for charging.
Safe storage area for spare batteries.

Lack of Staff, particularly temporary staff from an Risk assessment discussed with all staff and a copy displayed. No further action needed at this
awareness of agency, are at risk if they are not aware Temporary staff are briefed on site safety by a supervisor before stage.
risk by staff of the risks on site and how those risks they begin work.
are controlled. Temporary staff agency supply only staff who speak English.

Assessment review date: 1/8/08

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Example risk assessment: Cleaning contractor (shopping centre concourse) 4 of 4 pages

Crown Copyright
Published by the Health and Safety Executive 12/08

Source: HSE website

26
Risk assessment records
By law, all employers who employ five or more employees must record the
significant findings of the assessment and any details of groups of people or
individuals who may be significantly at risk. However, it is best practice to record all
assessments to demonstrate that all activities have been considered.

The significant findings of the assessments should include:

those hazards that pose a significant risk to workers and other persons;
details of the existing control measures in place and the extent to which these
control the risk; and
the population that is likely to be affected, including any significant groups at
risk (e.g. young workers, expectant mothers etc.).

Assessments need to be dated and signed by the person concerned.

The risk assessments should form part of the overall safety management system.
They should be available to employees and safety representatives.

Reviewing risk assessments


The assessments need to be reviewed whenever they are no longer valid. This may
be as a result of new equipment, new working practices or the workplace being
rearranged. An accident may also trigger a review of the risk assessment.

Furthermore, if the assessments have been used to develop a programme of


regular safety inspections, it is likely that the inspections can be used to review the
adequacy of the original assessments.

It is good practice to review risk assessments annually and to ensure that there is
evidence of this review.

Making risk assessment a worthwhile exercise


If the risk assessments have been completed in a logical and well-structured way,
they can then be easily turned into an inspection regime, a training checklist or
formal procedures, e.g. safe systems of work.

Local managers should be fully aware of the risk assessments as they are
responsible for ensuring that work is carried out in a safe manner, in accordance
with safety rules and the risk assessment.

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 27


Module summary
Having completed the workbook for this module, you should have now:

begun to understand what risks are;


learnt what a risk assessment is; and
understood how to carry out a risk assessment and completed a risk
assessment form.

Risk assessment is not meant to be a complicated process. Its about carrying out
a careful examination of the workplace to identify hazards and then assess the
risks that result. The aim is to prevent accidents and dangerous occurrences from
occurring at work and to reduce the incidence of occupational ill health. To do this
you need to make sure that you get the correct information, and you use competent
people to help you with the process. Speak to the people who actually do the
activities that you are assessing. Remember, you can get valuable information from
looking at accident reports or safety inspection documents.

Make sure that the risk assessments are relevant to the location that the work is
taking place in. Where generic risk assessments are used, remember that these
may need to be modified to fit the work and the location that they are being used
in. Dont forget that sometimes things dont always go to plan for people who are
working on their own, e.g. a machine breaks down, so people need to be prepared to
carry out on the spot assessments. As a manager you need to make sure that your
staff have received the correct amount of training and are competent to assess the
risks.

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Sources of further information
Students wishing to undertake further reading on managing safely will find useful
information from the following, non-exhaustive, list of organisations:

HSE www.hse.gov.uk

IOSH www.iosh.co.uk

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 29


TASK Ref.
SITE: LOCATION:
Assessment date: Review due on: By:

HAZARD WHO? RISK CONTROL MEASURES ADEQUATE? ACTION


L C R Y/N

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RISK = LIKELIHOOD X CONSEQUENCE
Appendix 1 Risk assessment template

30
TASK Ref.
SITE: LOCATION:
Assessment date: Review due on: By:

HAZARD WHO? RISK CONTROL MEASURES ADEQUATE? ACTION


L C R Y/N

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk


RISK = LIKELIHOOD X CONSEQUENCE

31
Appendix 2 Hazard checklists
Hazard identification is a crucial step in the risk assessment process and the use of
hazard checklists may be a valuable starting point when attempting to risk assess
a particular activity. However, assessors should be careful not to become blinkered
and only consider the hazards that are on the checklist. There may of course be
other hazards, some of which are detailed on the following pages.

Using the following headings, group the hazards that occur in your own workplace.

Mechanical hazards Electrical hazards Fire hazards

Activity hazards
Hazardous General workplace
(e.g. manual handling,
substances hazards
DSE etc.)

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Mechanical hazards
Ejection
Impact Contact
hazards
hazards hazards Entanglement
Trapping (e.g. of
(includes (cutting, hazards
hazards workpiece
puncture friction or (rotating parts)
or part of
wounds) abrasion)
tool)
Two moving Something Something Drill chuck and bit Cartridge
parts or one that may sharp or tool
Flywheel
moving part strike or stab with rough
Hammer and
and a fixed someone or surface Abrasive wheel
chisel
surface can be struck
Knife, chisel,
against Abrasive
Conveyor belt saw, etc.
wheel
and drive Moving
Blender blade
vehicle
Pulley
Circular saw
Robot arm
Power press blade
Sewing
Guillotine Sanding belt
machine
Scissors Hover mover
Drill
blade
Stapler
Hammer

Electrical, pressure, stored energy, stability and


overloading hazards

Overload /
Stored
Electrical Pressure Stability defect due to
energy
hazards hazards hazards mechanical
hazards
failure

Electricity Compressed Hoist platform Forklift truck Crane


above 240v air / lift cage on slope overload
240v Compressed Conveyor Machine not Chain sling
electricity gas tension bolted down
Eye bolt
weight
110v Steam boiler Mobile overload
electricity Raised tipper scaffold too
Vacuum Scaffold
lorry body high
Static overload
Hydraulic
electricity Load carried
systems Hopper
by crane
Batteries overfill

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 33


Radiation, noise, vibration and thermal hazards

Radiation Vibration
Noise hazards Thermal hazards
hazards hazards

Ionising radiation Pneumatic drill Pneumatic drill Hot surface


X-rays Operation of plant Operation of plant Blow lamp
and equipment and equipment
Non-ionising Welding flame /
radiation arc
Microwave Refrigerant
Radio frequency Steam
Laser
Ultraviolet
Infrared

Fire / explosion hazards

Combustion Flammable Oxidising Dust explosion


hazards substances substances hazards

Timber stack Petrol Organic peroxide Coal dust


Coal store Propane gas Potassium Wood dust
permanganate
Paper store Methane Aluminium powder
Nitric acid
Grease Compressed Flour
oxygen, nitrogen, Explosive material
Straw
acetylene
Fireworks
Plastic foam
Methanol
Detonators
Oxygen
Paraffin
enrichment Fertilisers
Acetone
Waste Highly flammable
gas

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Hazardous substances
Corrosive
Dusts / fibres
/ irritating Fumes Vapours Gases
/ bacteria
materials

Sulphuric Asbestos Lead fumes Acetone Carbon


acid fibres monoxide
Rubber 1,1,1 -
Caustic soda Silica dust fumes trichlorothane Hydrogen
sulphide
Manmade Dust mite Asphalt Dichloromethane
mineral fibre faeces fumes Carbon
Benzene
disulphide
Pigeon
Isocyanates
droppings Sulphur
dioxide
Coal
Dust grain
Wood dust

Ingestion
Mists Asphyxiants Contact hazards
hazards

Oil mist Nitrogen Toxic, harmful, Swarf


corrosive and
Printing ink mist Carbon monoxide Rough timber
irritant liquids
Water legionella Argon Concrete blocks
Poisons, e.g. all
harmful aerosols, Molten metal
polluted water, Frozen foods
contaminated
food and drink

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 35


General workplace hazards
Work over /
Stacking
Work at near liquids,
Access Obstruction / storing
height dusts, grains,
hazards
etc.

Damaged Fragile roof Low High stacks Grain silo


floors headroom
Edge of roof Insecure Tank
Trailing cables Sharp stacks
Edge of Reservoir
projections
Oil spills mezzanine Inadequate
Sump
floor racking
Water on floor
Work over
Work on Stacking at
Debris river
ladders height
Wet grass Work near
Erecting
canal
Sloping scaffold
surfaces Weils Disease
Hole in floor
Uneven steps
Changes in
floor level
Locked exits
Long exit
routes

Work environment hazards

Light Temperature Confined spaces Ventilation

Glare Indoor work Work in tank Fumes


Poor lighting Work in furnace Chimney Odours
Stroboscopic Cold room Pit Tobacco smoke
effect
Outdoor work Basement
Arc welding
Hot weather Unventilated room
Molten metal
Cold weather Vessel
Wind chill factor Silo
Work in rain, snow,
etc.

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Working practice hazards

Manual handling Repetitive movements Posture

Lifting Keyboard work Seated work


Lowering Using screwdriver Work above head height
Carrying Using hammer and chisel Work at floor level
Pushing Bricklaying Work involving excessive
reaching, stretching or
Pulling Plucking chickens
twisting
Hot / cold loads Production line tasks
Rough loads
Live loads, i.e. person or
animal

Work organisation hazards

Contractors Organisation of work Work in public areas

Work above or around Monotonous work Trailing cables


employees
Stress Traffic / plant movement
Use of harmful
Too much work Obstruction to blind
substances
person
Too little work
Contractors welding
Obstruction to prams,
Lack of control of job
Process fumes etc.
Work too demanding
Services (e.g. Work above public
underground electricity
cables)
Stored hazardous
materials

Other types of hazard

Attack by animals Attack by people Natural hazards

Bees Criminal attack Lightning


Dogs Angry customer Flash flood
Bulls Drunken person Snow
Fleas Drug abuser Wind
Mice / rats Mentally ill person Sunshine

Managing Safely | Module 2 | Assessing risk 37