AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

Steps for a successful risk assessment

There are five steps to doing a successful risk assessment. Any business should conduct a risk assessment. It must be seen as a critical instrument in defending the company from potentially disastrous effects, which could be financial, reputational, or both.

Risk evaluations should be adapted to each individual company. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” policy, there are some broad guidelines we may adhere to in order to build good risk assessment methods.

What exactly is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is a detailed, methodical analysis of how a business functions and how its activities and processes may cause harm to people.

It is about avoiding potential harm from occurring by identifying potential hazards, determining who might be affected by the hazard, assessing the magnitude of the risk of harm, documenting these results, and conducting regular evaluations.

Why do a risk assessment?

As employers, we have a legal obligation to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of our employees and anybody else who may be impacted by the business. There are numerous general and industry-specific health and safety requirements.

More information is available on the Health and Safety Executive’s website. However, the advantages of a good risk assessment are not limited to ensuring that a corporation is in compliance with the law.

In reality, a good risk management approach contributes to employee happiness. Furthermore, it improves employee performance as well as corporate efficiency and helps with the perception of a well-run organization.

Five steps to a successful risk assessment

A risk assessment should be carried out meticulously and across all parts of the firm. It should be a thorough review of all issues concerning the health and safety of those affected by the business.

Step 1 – Identify any potential hazards

A hazard is anything that a corporation does that may endanger a person. This clearly includes a broad range of health and safety issues. Identify anything to which a person could be exposed that could cause physical, mental, biological, or chemical harm. It extends beyond customers and staff to anybody who may be impacted by a business’s actions or a visit to its facilities.

Each business is unique, and hence has its own set of risks that are dependent on how the firm works and operates. You must investigate the risks created by your company’s actions and operations as part of your risk assessment.

Step 2 – Determine “Who” and “How” are at risk

The greatest place to start in determining “who” is in danger is with your own staff. There may be particular kinds of employees who are more vulnerable to injury, and the approach must reflect this. This duty extends to temporary employees and contractors, visitors to the business, clients, and other members of the public who come into contact with the company.

Step 3 – Assess the level of risk and take necessary precautions

Assessing risk entails considering how likely it is that harm will result from the business’s activity objectively. It would be excellent if the risk could be removed. However, in many cases, there will still be an element of danger.

These remaining hazards should be classified as Low, Medium, or High. This leads to the identification of appropriate and acceptable safeguards to reduce the risk of each level of harm occurring. Importantly, the greater the potential harm, the greater the effort required to limit the risk.

Step 4 – Record the results and processes

Accurate documentation of the risk assessment is critical to its effectiveness. Employers with five or more employees are required to document the key conclusions of the risk assessment in writing. This strategy, however, would benefit all enterprises. The written record should include the potential hazards as well as any actions taken to eliminate or reduce the risk.

Step 5 – Conduct regular risk and process assessments

We should emphasize that a risk assessment is not something that should be done once and then filed away. It must be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it remains effective and reflects any changes in the business.

In addition to planned periodic assessments, some events may need further evaluation. For example, increases or decreases in personnel numbers, changes in business processes, changes in job specifications, acquisition of new equipment, or exposure to new clientele. Depending on the nature of the firm, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual evaluations may be appropriate.

Significant takeaways

Companies can do their own risk assessments, either alone or in collaboration with employees (who may have a useful perspective on the risks they may face). Regardless, make certain that whoever conducts the risk assessment is competent. Individual staff may require specialized training. Finally, the method will differ depending on the size and nature of the business.

Given the potential harm that poorly managed hazards can do to a firm, it may be prudent to enlist the help of outside specialists to conduct an impartial risk assessment. A poor risk assessment may cause future harm to the organization, so it is critical that you make the right choice when appointing.