Health and Safety: Risk Assessment

25th January 2013
Health and Safety: Risk Assessment image

Health and Safety: Risk Assessment

A risk assessment is an important step in protecting your workers and your business as well as complying with the law.  It helps you focus on the risk that really matters in your work place.

In many instances straight forward and relatively inexpensive measures can readily control risk, as ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so that people do not slip.

What is a Risk Assessment?

A risk assessment is a careful examination of your work activities, considering what could go wrong and deciding upon suitable control measures to prevent loss, damage or injury in the work place.  The assessment should include the control required to eliminate, reduce or minimise the risk.

What should a Risk Assessment cover?

This will depend upon your organisation and may vary depending upon the nature of your work.  Risk assessments must consider everyone who could be effected by your business activities, not just employees but contractors, temporary workers, customers and the general public.

Some groups are considered more vulnerable, such as persons under 18 years of age and pregnant mothers.   The law specifically requires employers to consider the risks posed to these groups and put in place additional controls if they are required.

Legal duties and obligations

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (“MHSW Regulations”) require all employers and the self employed to assess the risks from their work on anyone who may be affected by their activities.

The MNSW Regulations require employers to carry out a systematic examination of their work activities and record the significant findings of the assessment.  If you have 5 or more employees then your findings must be recorded in writing.

There are other regulations that require specific risk assessments such as the Manual Handling Regulations, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations etc.

Assessing risks in the work place

It is important that risk assessments are carried out systematically and all foreseeable risks are considered.  The Health and Safety Executive recommends a 5 step process as follows:-

1.         Identify the hazards, namely anything with the potential to cause harm, e.g. electricity, hazardous substances.

2.         Identify who could be harmed by these hazards and how.

3.         Identify how you manage the risks as present, and what further steps might be required to reduce the risks further.  These are your control measures.  Risk is the likelihood that damage, loss or injury will be caused by a hazard and how severe the outcome may be.

4.         Record your findings and implement them, and inform those at risk of the controls.

5.         Review and update your risk assessment on a regular basis, e.g. if the staff, activity or the equipment used changes.

An annual review is often advisable.

Control measures

When deciding upon control measures the following principles should be applied:-

(a)       Can the risk be eliminated/avoided?

(b)       Can the risk be contained at source?

(c)       Can the work be adapted to suit the individual?  E.g. the layout of the work place, choice of equipment and methods of working.

(d)       Can engineering or technical controls be used?

Information, instructions and training, and provided personal protective equipment should always be considered as a last resort after the above controls have been considered.

If you need guidance on any health and safety issue at work, then please contact either Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email or Gemma Mayer on 01775 722261 or email

The Will Writing Company Limited image

The Will Writing Company Limited

It has been reported that The Will Writing Company Limited, whose registered office is at Ergo House, Mere Way, Ruddington Fields Business Park, Nottingham, have ceased to practise.

If you made Wills using this company then it is probably worthwhile making contact with them in order to retrieve your Wills. Once you have your Wills you may wish to make an appointment with one of the lawyers in our Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney and Probate Team in order to review your Will to ensure it still accords with your wishes. We also offer a Will storage facility which is free of charge.

To review your Will please contact one of our lawyers in the Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate Department:-

Jane Mawer-
Jamie Dobbs-
Faye Blair-

Or telephone the office on 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

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Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

This is the second time we have used Mike Pepper at Maples Solicitors in the sale of our house. We cannot praise Mike enough for the highly efficient and professional service that he has provided us with. He is by far the best solicitor we have ever worked with, and the service that he has provided us with has gone far and beyond anything we have ever experienced. We have found the whole process to be a very relaxing experience.

Claire Smith FCILEx

Claire Smith has been amazing in every way. I highly recommend her and I am so grateful for all her help. She’s professional on all levels, reliable, extremely organised and I will be recommending her to everyone. I’m very lucky to have had her representing me and I can’t thank her enough. She is an asset to Maples. Thanks so much Claire!

Anita Zaborniak

We found it a pleasure to deal with Anita Zaborniak, she was most helpful and informative and kept us up to date with the progress of the purchase of our new home. If we were to move again we wouldn’t hesitate to use Maples again.