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    ANNUAL RISK ASSESSMENT REVIEWS NOT REQUIRED

    HSE Myth Buster panel holds forth on risk assessments

    The HSE Mythbuster Challenge Panel considers decisions put to it which are claimed to cite health and safety as the justification for excessive and disproportionate action.

    The panel recently considered a situation (Case 339) in which an Educational Visit Coordinator was told to “re-do risk assessments for all school activities every year” as it is a “health and safety requirement to do so”.

    The panel considered the matter and has confirmed that:

    “There is no legal requirement to re-do risk assessments annually, risk assessments only need to be reviewed if there have been significant changes. It is important that, once risks are assessed, appropriate measures are put in place.

    Imposing a blanket annual review is likely to lead to “box ticking” rather proper consideration as and when circumstances change and is not an approach which HSE or official guidance endorses.”‘

    New risk assessment guide

    This decision follows the publication of revised HSE Guidance on Risk Assessment which endorsed “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.”

     

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