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    MODEL RISK ASSESSMENTS ENDORSED IN HSE GUIDE

    hselogo1New guidance on risk assessment requirement simplified and updated

    A revised leaflet entitled – Risk assessment: A brief guide to controlling risks in the workplace – has been published by HSE to help those involved in identifying, assessing and controlling risks associated with workplace hazards. The New Risk Assessment Guidance replaces the previous HSE guidance – Five steps to risk assessment.

    The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require every employer to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees and others so as to determine the sensible precautions required.

    The employer must record the significant findings of the assessment and any employees being “especially at risk”. Recording is not required where less that 5 persons are employed.

    If you  used ‘Five steps’ to carry out your risk assessment there is no need to repeat it. The new guidance makes clear that only significant findings need to be recorded and emphasises the importance of controlling the risks identified. 

    Controls measures central

    hselogo1The guide emphasises that HSE expect a concentration on sensible control measures rather than ‘paperwork’:

    “A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork, but rather about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. You are probably already taking steps to protect your employees, but your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have covered all you need to.”

    Model assessments acceptable

    The new HSE guidance endorses “model risk assessments” to cover similar workplaces e.g. in the construction sector stating:

    “If you control a number of similar workplaces containing similar activities, you can produce a model risk assessment reflecting the common hazards and risks associated with these activities”

    and

    “Where the nature of your work changes fairly frequently or the workplace changes and develops (e.g. a construction site), or where your workers move from site to site, your risk assessment may have to concentrate more on a broad range of risks that can be anticipated.”

    Method statements can be used to communicate more site specific controls measures.

     

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