How to carry out a first aid health and safety risk assessment?
The best way to carry out a risk assessment is to walk around your business and note down any hazards or things that might cause harm.
Then have a think about the risk itself; What is that chance of someone being harmed by the hazard? How serious could that harm be?
It’s a great idea to involve your team in this process. They may see things that you won’t so ask them:
- What do they think the hazards are?
- Do they have any ideas of how to control the risks?
Try not to focus on every possible risk in your workplace. Instead, concentrate on the real risks, the ones that are most likely to cause harm. Then think about the steps or measures that you are already taking to control these risks and ask yourself if you have covered all you need to.
Once the risks are identified and you have decided what you need to do to control them, you need to put those measures or steps into action. There is absolutely no point undertaking a really good risk assessment if you are not going to act on your findings.
Record your findings, the controls and when and how those controls were implemented. Any paperwork that you produce to help control risk should be simple and easy to use. If it isn’t then you can almost count on the fact that people won’t use it and you will need to update it in the future. Get it right the first time so that you can get on with the 100s of other jobs that you have!
No workplaces stay the same for long. You will bring in new kit, chemicals or procedures that could bring with them new hazards. We recommend that you review your risk assessment on a regular basis. If there are any significant changes, go back to the assessment and change it if required.
Some risks have control measures that are required by law, such as working at height or with gas, chemicals asbestos or machinery. The Health and Safety Executive has information on topics and industries to help you decide what you need to do about many common types of risk.
Remember to consider everyone who could be harmed
There might be members of your team who have particular requirements, such as new and young workers, new or expectant mothers, and people with disabilities.
Do any of your team work from home? What about those people that are not part of your core team such as visitors, customers, contractors and maintenance staff?
If they could be harmed by your work activities, you must take members of the public into account on risk assessments.
If you share a workplace with other businesses, it is a great idea to carry out this process together. That way you can consider how your work affects theirs and visa versa, and you can ensure that any controls that are put in place are recorded by all businesses on the site.
Immerse Medical have created a simple and easy to use risk assessment template for you. You can also check out the Health and Safety Executive’s example risk assessments to see what a risk assessment might look like for a business similar to yours.