by Zoe Drew, Director HCS Safety
There is a dangerous myth out there that risk assessment is simply a form filling exercise. This could not be further than the truth. Almost every prosecution following a serious accident cites the lack of a “suitable and sufficient” risk assessment as part of the cause. These aren’t just words – the law requires your risk assessment to be “suitable and sufficient”. If not, the author of that assessment is potentially exposing workers to risk and themselves to legal action.
Risk assessment is a thought process, a method of enabling people to do potentially dangerous jobs safely, and it needs to be done well. A solid understanding of the task, the hazards (both immediate and long term) how to evaluate risk and how to control it is essential in fulfilling your legal duty to get this right.
The way the risk assessment is recorded is also a part of the process, but it comes after the serious problem solving has been done. This really is NOT about risk assessment forms or risk assessment templates – it’s about the identification of problems and solving them BEFORE you worry about how to write them down.
The art of creating a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is not rocket science, but it does require knowledge and skill. The author of a risk assessment is signing their name to a method of work for others to follow, and that carries considerable responsibility, both morally and legally.
If you have been asked to write a risk assessment, your employer has a duty to ensure that you are competent to carry out this task. Training is essential and is available right here…
A Risk Assessment course at the South’s favourite safety consultancy will fully equip you for this. An interactive and enjoyable day will leave you with the confidence, skills and knowledge to carry out this important task. Click here for details.
Alternatively, if you’d like to engage our consultancy to write your risk assessments for you, then please contact us.