How to do a Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment?

This is a brief guide to risk assessments.  The Health and Safety Executive provide more comprehensive guidance here.

What is a Risk Assessment?

A Risk Assessment is a list of Hazards that could arise from an activity, piece of equipment or a place and the control measures that will reduce the chances (likelihood or risk) of people being harmed by the hazard.

Do I need a Risk Assessment?

Generally, yes it is a sensible precaution but in some circumstances it is a legal requirement:

Employers, employees and the self-employed have a duty under The Health and Safety at Work 1976 to take precautions to prevent harm that might arise from their activities.  This duty extends to volunteers where they are authorised to carry out activities on Council premises or are supporting a Council activity.

Voluntary groups generally have a common law duty to do what is reasonably practicable to prevent harm to others.  If the Volunteer Group is an employer or responsible for non-domestic premises they may have a legal requirement to carry out  a risk assessment.

If in doubt carry one out!

How do I carry out a Risk Assessment?

  1. identify what (hazards) might harm people in contact with the activity, place or equipment,
  2. identify who might be harmed and how,
  3. evaluate the risks and decide on the appropriate controls, including  controls you already have in place and who is responsible for taking the action,
  4. record your risk assessment,
  5. review and update your assessment.

Who should carry out the Risk Assessment?

Voluntary groups might have someone with experience and training willing to carry out the risk assessment.  If the activity etc is on Council premises or being carried out under the control or supervision of the Council then a competent Council officer should carry out the risk assessment or check any prepared by the group.

Where should it be Recorded?

The Health and Safety Executive provide a useful form or there is a simplified form available.

HSE Risk Assessment Guide and Form

Blank Site Form 2017 – volunteers




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