What is a health and safety risk assessment?
A health and safety risk assessment identifies potential hazards in your workplace.
There are two compelling reasons to conduct regular risk assessments in the workplace:
- Risk assessments are essential management tools, used to maintain the health and safety of all employees and visitors.
- Every employer with five or more employees has a legal duty to conduct risk assessments under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
Who should conduct a health and safety risk assessment?
The law also requires employers to have health and safety assistance from a competent person. This is defined as someone with sufficient training and knowledge of evaluating hazards. At Phoenix, we provide health and safety consultancy to a range of business. We can carry out your risk assessments and be your designated ‘competent person’.
You can determine whether an individual is suitable to be a ‘competent person’ by answering these questions:
- Have they had relevant training, such as a course accredited by IOSH?
- Do they have practical knowledge and experience in managing workplace health and safety?
- Do they have the appropriate skills and technical ability to develop solutions to problems?
People with the right level of experience, training and skills are rare, especially in smaller organisations. So, what if you don’t have the in-house resources to manage health and safety internally? No problem, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends appointing an external specialist instead.
At Phoenix Health and Safety, we offer an expert consultancy service. This involves giving you access to specialists who can do all the above, and have done for a wide range of industries.
The different types of risk assessment
Certain types of hazard require special risk assessments. Phoenix consultants can help with all of them. For more information, click on each link.
- Manual handling risk assessments focus on tasks, the loads handled, the work environment, and the personnel involved.
- Fire risk assessments must now be completed for all non-domestic premises, following recent legislation.
- A COSHH risk assessment is required for all usage of hazardous substances. Obtaining the safety data sheet for the substance is not sufficient to comply with the law.
- A display screen equipment risk assessment should be conducted on all computer users.
- COVID-19 risk assessments should be conducted before a workplace is marked as ‘COVID secure’
Specific risk assessments explained
Manual Handling Risk Assessment
The definition of manual handling is defined as the transporting or supporting of a load, "by hand or bodily force". If manual handling activities cannot be eliminated, there is a legal requirement (Manual Handling Operations Regulations) to carry out specific manual handling risk assessments.
The manual handling risk assessment should cover:
- The TASK being carried out – for example stooping, twisting, pushing, pulling etc.
- The INDIVIDUAL carrying out the task – for example age, health, strength etc.
- The LOAD being carried – for example heavy, bulky, sharp, hot etc.
- The ENVIRONMENT the task is being carried out in – for example stairs, noise, lighting etc.
- Any other relevant factors
At Phoenix Health & Safety we can assist with your moving and handling risk assessment requirements. We carry out manual handling risk assessments on your behalf, or we can assist you to carry them out by providing forms, examples and support. Our moving and handling risk assessments can ensure that delegates understand the importance of manual, handling and lifting safety, and will therefore ensure they can operate carefully within the workplace.
Contact us today for more information on our health and safety training courses or our assessment fees.
Fire Risk Assessments
All non-domestic premises are required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (2005) to carry out fire risk assessments. Failure to comply with this regulation can result in severe penalties.
If you require a fire risk assessment in London or elsewhere in the UK, Phoenix Health & Safety can help. Our highly experienced health and safety experts can carry out fire safety risk assessments on your behalf or can assist you by providing assessment forms, examples or additional support.
Approach to Fire Risk Assessment
In order to effectively perform a fire risk assessment, you must follow the five steps outlined below. You must:
- Identify fire hazards
- Identify who is at risk
- Evaluate the risk and decide whether existing precautions are adequate
- Record the findings
- Review as and when necessary
To identify hazards, you should focus on the three components of the fire triangle: fuel sources (furniture, paper and liquids), heat sources (electrical appliances, heating equipment and lighting) and oxygen sources (ventilation systems, open doors and windows). Fire prevention ultimately relies on keeping these three components separated at all times.
Phoenix Health & Safety provide unrivalled consultancy services. We ensure that all fire risk assessments are conducted by specialist fire risk assessors with a high level of knowledge and competency. All final reports produced are highly professional and fully compliant with legislation.
We also provide an in-house Fire Risk Assessment training course.
For more information on our fire risk assessment services, contact us today.
COSHH Risk Assessments
Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, organisations in the UK are required to conduct specific risk assessments for activities that involve the use of hazardous substances. These include:
- Any chemical that has an orange warning label denoting that it is toxic or harmful
- Biological agents, such as Legionella and HIV
- Plants, flowers and vegetables (they can cause dermatitis)
- Fumes or dust
COSHH Risk Assessments must consider:
- Any hazards that are presented by the substance
- The safety data sheet that is provided by the supplier or manufacturer
- The likely route of exposure (for example, might the substance be inhaled, swallowed, injected)
- The duration of exposure
- The severity of any likely ill-effects on health, and any required first aid interventions
- The methods used to dispose of the substance
- Storage methods and any special fire fighting requirements
We can help with these analyses. We can do this either by conducting the assessments on your behalf or by assisting you to do them yourself by providing you with the relevant forms, examples and support.
We can also provide COSHH risk assessment training.
If you would like further information, don’t hesitate to contact us for an informal chat.
Display Screen Risk Assessment
Under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) regulations (1992), organisations are legally required to conduct a specific display screen risk assessment for personnel who are classed as being users of this equipment. Employees fall into this category if they meet the following criteria:
- They use the display screen equipment (DSE) on a daily basis
- They use this equipment for an hour or more at a time
- They could not do their job without the DSE.
These risk assessments must cover the:
- Workstation furniture
- Working environment (this includes variables like lighting and heating)
We are experts in DSE risk assessments and can help you in either of the following ways:
- We can conduct the analyses on your behalf. During this process, one of our fully qualified experts will sit down with each of your workers who uses DSE and interview them about their workstations, discussing any specific issues or problems that they may have. Following these discussions, a report is produced detailing the findings and recommendations for each user.
- Alternatively, we can provide you with DSE risk assessment forms to help you complete these assessments yourself. Note that clients on our health and safety support contracts are provided with access to DSE risk assessment forms. Any questions or problems can be followed up by our safety experts and support staff.
How to conduct a risk assessment
HSE guidance details the following five-step approach to workplace risk assessment:
- Identify all hazards present in the workplace.
- Identify those at risk from the hazards, including employees, contractors and visitors. Particularly vulnerable workers should also be considered, such as young people, new staff members, and new or expectant mothers.
- Evaluate the level of danger, the likelihood of accidents, and the measures currently in place to reduce risks.
- Record the findings in a suitable form.
- Review the assessment regularly. This is particularly important after an accident, or when something changes, such as when new equipment is introduced.
Your risk assessment support options
We are experts in every type of health and safety risk assessment, and offer a range of services. Here are our two main options:
- We carry out the risk assessments for you. In this case, we take on liability for the evaluation. Please bear in mind that many other companies offering such services will not do this.
- You carry out your own assessment, and we support you through the process — training your staff, providing the appropriate forms, and checking the completed assessments.
We can also assist construction and contracting companies with generic risk assessments and method statements. These can be modified to suit unique jobs, site-specific risk assessments, and procedures.
Additional health and safety expert support
If your organisation needs support with risk assessments, you are likely to need a health and safety policy and health and safety manual. Why not find out more about how our annual support contracts can help you with all aspects of your health and safety responsibilities?
For an informal chat, or to arrange a free initial consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Call us now on 0345 5008811 to discuss.