Risk assessment information
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 set out the statutory requirements for all employers and self-employed people to assess the risks to workers and any others who may be affected by their work or business. This risk assessment enables them to identify the measures needed to be taken to comply with health and safety law.
All employers and self-employed people need to carry out a systematic examination of the effect of their undertaking, their work activities and the condition of the premises. Those who employ five or more employees should record the significant findings of that risk assessment. It should identify how the risks arise and how they may impact on those who may be affected. This information is needed to make decisions on how to manage those risks so that the decisions are made in an informed, rational and structured manner, and the action taken is proportionate.
A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you've taken enough precautions, or should do more to prevent harm. Everyone has a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures. Accidents and ill health can ruin lives and affect your business if output is lost, machinery is damaged, insurance costs increase or you have to go to court.
In 2005 the Department for Educations and Skills (DfES) advised local authorities that they should risk-assess all SEN pupils on their home to school transport and review these risk assessments annually. Since 2006 we've been undertaking this task. Jill Brunning is responsible for the risk assessments of individual pupils and adults on Shropshire Council-contracted transport, as well as transport route risk assessments.
Having set out the legal need for risk assessments, the first stage of your risk assessment involves identifying the hazards which arise in connection with the work. The most important part of this step is a visual inspection. However, good health and safety management involves a lot of co-operation with employees. Not only can they reveal health and safety concerns that may need to be addressed, but consulting them also gives them ownership of the assessment. When it comes to controlling the risks, their co-operation is vital, so it's important to ensure that any employees with health and safety concerns are able to express them. Talking to members of staff allows you to take advantage of their knowledge and experience of the workplace. They're the people who know exactly what's happening in the day-to-day operations.
It can be helpful to use a preliminary checklist of hazards if you identified any in your preparation.
- Be systematic: this helps to ensure nothing is overlooked
- Cover all areas: look at all routes, one at a time
- Look at what's happening: remember to look at all the functions, processes and activities that are going on. Find out whether what should be happening is what is really happening
Below are a variety of documents that can be downloaded and used to help you complete the risk assessment, as well as a blank risk assessment form for you to complete.
- Risk assessment form
- Guidance notes for transport operators risk assessments
- Template route risk assessment form
Also attached below are documents which can be used to assist you.
More information about health and safety matters
For guidance in respect of completing a risk assessment or HSE information for private hire businesses risk assessments, please see the links below:
PTCG risk assessment officer
Tel: (01743) 255044