What is Risk Assessment?
Risk assessment is a term used to describe the overall process or method where you:
- Identify hazards and risk factors that have the potential to cause harm (hazard identification).
- Analyze and evaluate the risk associated with that hazard (risk analysis, and risk evaluation).
- Determine appropriate ways to eliminate the hazard, or control the risk when the hazard cannot be eliminated (risk control).
A risk assessment is a thorough look at your workplace to identify those things, situations, processes, etc. that may cause harm, particularly to people.
After identification is made, you analyze and evaluate how likely and severe the risk is. When this determination is made, you can next, decide what measures should be in place to effectively eliminate or control the harm from happening.
To do a risk assessment, you need to understand what, in your business, might cause harm to people and decide whether you are doing enough to prevent that harm.
Once you have decided that, you need to identify and prioritize putting in place, appropriate and sensible control measures.
- identifying what can harm people in your workplace
- identifying who might be harmed and how
- evaluating the risks and deciding on the appropriate controls, taking into account the controls you already have in place
- recording your risk assessment
- reviewing and updating your assessment
What Should I Include In My Risk Assessment?
Your risk assessment should include consideration of what in your business might cause harm and how and, the people who might be affected.
It should take into account any controls which are already in place and identify what, if any, further controls are required.
You should be able to show from your assessment that:
- a proper check was made
- all people who might be affected were considered
- all significant risks have been assessed
- the precautions are reasonable
- the remaining risk is low
You do not need to include insignificant risks. You do not need to include risks from everyday life unless your work activities increase the risk.