Step 1 – HSE – Identify the hazards

  • Identify the hazards associated with the task or activity
  • Consider People, Equipment, Materials and the Environment
  • People hazards cover a number of issues. Consider training, capabilities/restrictions, supervision, communication, adequate numbers and human error
  • Equipment hazards will relate to the equipment used and will also cover tasks associated with the repair, maintenance, handling, cleaning, storage and operation of the equipment
  • Environmental hazards are all about the surroundings one is working in. Consider poor lighting, heating and ventilation, poor access/egress, tripping/slipping hazards, restricted space/visibility and other activities taking place nearby

         Step 2 – Who can be harmed?


  • Permanent workers in the area
  • Migrant workers – consider language restrictions
  • Agency workers
  • Contractors and visiting workers
  • People visiting the area
  • The general public and children walking alongside the site
  • Intruders who break into the site
  • The risk assessment should consider all those people who could potentially be harmed if controls fail

          Step 3 – What are the current controls?

  • Identify what control measures are currently in place for each hazard
  • In some cases there may be no controls, perhaps because the hazard
    hasn’t been considered.  At the other end of the scale, there may be good controls in place because the hazard is obvious and easily controlled
  • When trying to identify the current controls, they can be broken down in 3 ways:
    (1) Physical controls (e.g. a metal fence around a construction site)
    (2) Procedural controls (e.g. a safe working procedure for the task)
    (3) Behavioural controls (e.g. adequate supervision and monitoring of behaviour)

          Step 4 – Record the risk assessment

  • The findings must be recorded
  • Any organisation with more than five people is required to record
    their risk assessments
  • It should be stated clearly what task/activity the risk assessment covers
  • It should be ensured that the hazards and controls are clearly listed
  • An appropriate member of staff should sign off the risk assessment
  • One should make sure that the completed risk assessments are readily available to those who might need them

          Step 5 – Review the risk assessment

  • Risk assessments must be reviewed on a regular basis (at the very least
    once every year)
  • The period of review should reflect the hazards, the greater the hazards
    the more frequent the review
  • One needs to review the risk assessment as the work activity changes – e.g if the site is structurally changed, less staff etc
  • Following monitoring techniques, one should identify if the risk assessments need changing
  • Any changes should be followed with maintenance inspections
  • Safety committee meetings, safety inspections, occupational health surveys should be regularly scheduled
  • Accident and ill health investigations should be undertaken





0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply