Risk Assessment

The legal requirement for carrying out risk assessments

Article 3 of the Health & Safety at Work (Jersey) Law, 1989, sets out the general duty on employers to ensure their employees are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

In order to clarify employer's responsibilities to carry out risk assessments, Article 3 has been amended to include specific reference to the requirement for employers to undertake risk assessments to ensure their employees' health and safety.

For the full interpretation of Article 3 click here

So that's the legal aspect, but what does risk assessment actually mean?

Assessing risk at work is summarised in a '5 steps to risk assessment' approach used by most health and safety professionals to explain in basic terms what you need to be looking for:

Look for the 'hazards'- What may cause an accident in your workplace (machinery, wet floor, heavy boxes etc)

Who may be harmed by this 'hazard', i.e:  who is 'at risk'.

Evaluate the risk  How the accident may occur (crush in machine, slip on floor, back injury lifting etc) and decide whether existing control measures are adequate or what can be amended

Actions  you need to take to avoid this accident from taking place

Record findings and review as necessary.  It may be that you need to monitor an activity regularly or you may feel that the risk to the hazard is one that needs checking annually for example.

Remember, risk assessments are not there to stop the activity from happening, they are in place to avoid the risk of an accident happening during the activity.

In Jersey alone in 2009, 587 people were off sick due to an accident at work.  These are records of 3 days or more and won't cover the minor incidences nor do they cover the near misses that are recorded in the UK through RIDDOR.  (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations)

In most cases somebody within the workplace will be able to do the assessment. The most important thing is for the person to have a sound knowledge of the work so that they know what happens, or might happen. 

It's important to involve those working with hazards to ensure they are aware of your findings and may offer solutions to any problems which might arise.  

There may be times when a specialist is required to advise such as the installation of machinery or when covering  workplace health surveillance, though these specialists should work with someone from within the company.

For full details of how to carry out a risk assessment, the Health and Safety Inspectorate provide a comprehensive instructional page : HSi Risk assessment

Free Accident Record Books are available from the Social Security Department.

Alternatively, download the accidents sheet by clicking here then amend it to your company requirements and photocopy. 

Examples of risk assessment:

The UK Health and Safety Executive provide an excellent range of risk assessments that can be downloaded for use.   Click here to access link  

Alternatively, use the attached word template to amend and add your company logo as required:

<<Example word risk assessment>>

<<Example Safety inspection checklist>>