What is an HSE risk assessment? A simple guide
What is a workplace HSE risk assessment?
A risk assessment is a method of:
- analysing the workplace and working practices; to
- consider what could go wrong (the risks); so that
- you can put in place controls to reduce loss, damage, or injury; thus
- minimising those risks
Your simple HSE risk assessment template
There are five steps to making an effective risk assessment in the workplace:
Step #1: Identify the hazards
Check for hazards – whether physical or mental. Common physical hazards include chemical, biological, and ergonomic hazards. Mental hazards include long hours, stressful work, and excessive workloads.
Step #2: Decide who is at risk
This part of risk assessment should identify those affected by the risk. This includes employees, agency staff, contractors, visitors and clients. Remember that your duty of care is increased when considering the wellbeing of young workers, night and shift workers, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and the disabled.
Step 3: Evaluate risks and produce precautions
You must now think about the potential of each risk to cause harm, and decide what you should do to minimise these risks. If risk remains (which it probably will), you must decide whether that risk is high, medium, or low.
Step 4: Record your significant findings
If you have five or more employees, you must record the following details of each risk assessment you carry out:
- The significant findings of your HSE risk assessment
- Any group of employees identified as being especially at risk
Step #5: Review and update
Keep your risk assessment under review to make sure that:
- The actions identified to reduce risk are carried out continuously
- It is updated to account for new machinery and/or working practices
The benefits of an HSE risk assessment
By carrying out risk assessments, you won’t only be complying with health and safety law. They are key to accessing the many benefits of effective health and safety processes in the workplace, including:
- Understanding the hazards that exist and control the risks they present
- Making your employees and others more aware of those hazards and risks
- Saving costs by acting sooner rather than later
- Your employees should suffer fewer accidents
- Absenteeism should fall
- Your workplace will be a happier place to work in, and productivity should improve
Make sure your risk assessments are effective
It is important that your risk assessments do what they should. You must be systematic and methodical in your approach, with each risk assessment benefiting from the same consistent process. The best way to ensure all of this is to use an HSE risk assessment template.
Sentry provides a bank of relevant, ready-to-go templates. Every template is customisable, so you can ensure every document is project specific and only includes the parts you need. They can be downloaded and shared easily.
You’ll find our risk assessment templates break the process into easy steps – meaning your risk assessments can be completed faster, more efficiently, and more effectively. To learn more, book your Sentry demo.