Monday, August 4, 2014

How to Write a Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is a document that helps a company identify any hazards or unsafe practices in the workplace in order to avoid employee injuries. It's common sense that the fewer accidents a company has, the more productive it will be. Use these tips to learn how to write a risk assessment for your company or organization.

1List the hazards that may be incurred when a task, job or process is completed in your workplace. To identify a hazard, you may observe it, experience it or learn about it by interviewing other workers. Examples might include slipping obstacles or fire hazards.

2 Determine the level of risk of each hazard identified. Risk may be determined by multiplying the likelihood of an accident occurring times the severity of the result. Likelihood is rated on a scale from 1 to 5, 1 being highly unlikely and 5 being certain to occur. Severity is also rated on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being trivial injury to 5 being death. The higher the multiplication sum, the higher the risk.

3 Document the groups of people who may be at risk. Various personnel, including members of the public, office staff, machine operators, loading dock employees or maintenance personnel, may be affected by identified hazards. Special consideration should be given to employees who work individually, young employees, temporary staff and disabled workers.

4 Identify precautions already used to avoid hazards within the workplace. Safety gear, automatic shut-off functions and protective guards may already be in place to prevent accidents. Many workplaces use rubber mats to reduce slipping chances and install fire extinguishers within feet of machines

5 Coordinate new control methods for high risk situations. Many risk assessments recommend the elimination of a certain task or job in order to rid the workplace of that particular risk. Sometimes a new method can be substituted for a current activity. Many risk assessments suggest physical controls be put into place, such as guards to avoid access to machine parts or automatic shut-off switches on machines. Administrative controls that include new rules or policies may help avoid a hazard. Other times, employees are required to wear protective gear such as safety glasses, hard hats, gloves or protective body wear. Many risks can be avoided simply by identifying other methods to keep employees safe.


A risk assessment is only effective if you and your staff act on it. You must follow through with any actions required and review it on a regular basis.

Sample Risk Assessments:
1.    Office Cleaning:

Sources and Citations:,                            


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