Health and safety risk assessment

Risk assessment is the careful examination of what could cause harm to people or damage to equipment. This enables an organisation to decide whether they have taken enough precautions to mitigate the risk or whether they need to do more. The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 regulation 3 imposes an absolute duty on employers and the self employed to conduct suitable and sufficient risk assessments of their undertakings. This means that they must assess the risks to themselves, to their employees and those who are not their employees to identify how they could be harmed by the work they do.

Organisations who employ five people or more must record the significant findings of their risk assessments in writing. This record should represent an accurate statement of the hazards and risks identified so that management can employ control measures to ensure the health and safety of everyone who may be affected by their undertaking.

Method statements

A method statement, often referred to as a “safe system of work”, is a system or procedure that details how a task or process should be done. Following a systematic examination of a work process to identify hazards a system of work is designed to either eliminate the hazards or to control and minimise the level of risk. Each step of how the task or process should be conducted is documented as is the level of manpower and equipment required to ensure the health and safety of those who carry out the work as well as those who could be affected by it.

Method statements and safe systems of work can be very simple for small uncomplicated tasks but can be very complex for more complicated work processes. For some processes standard templates can be used where similar tasks are repeated regularly or routinely; however, for work processes that are not routine operations specific method statements will be required.

Method statements are often produced at the same time as risk assessments are carried out as both processes go hand in hand.

Risk assessment process
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If you would like more information.
If you would like more information on how we may be able to help you with regard to risk assessment or method statements please call for an informal chat or we can arrange a more formal meeting.