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Risk Assessment... Light at the end of the tunnel?

BY Douglas Cameron
Health & Safety
BG Orange

It was good to read recently that the Health and Safety Executive are revising the guide on risk assessments. Why? They seem to have realised that perhaps the whole thing has gone out of control. So with a smile that should be contagious read the following sensible comments that HSE have recently made:

“We are concerned that many people see the requirement to record significant findings of a risk assessment as something separate from other things they do to manage their business”.

“A risk assessment is not about creating huge amounts of paperwork – it is about identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. We want to put more emphasis on controlling risk and less on written assessments, without reducing standards.”

Risks assessment should be part of day-to-day business management. A risk assessment can be part of an existing business document, such as:

  • your workplace ‘housekeeping’ rules
  • manufacturers’ instructions
  • training materials
  • method statements
  • safety data sheets


We gave an example to a client recently on a possible safety hazard where there was no actual document headed Risk Assessment.  Instead of creating a new template, we brought together the Safety Policy, a procedure document produced by the company relaying how the subject and associated legislation was managed, a checklist relating to the work practice, a monthly H&S audit checklist and the safety training course the team members attended.


So piece all the documents together and what do you get? A risk assessment without more paperwork. Well done HSE for saving more trees and reducing the burden.

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