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Health and Safety Risk Management

Health and SafetyIn this section:

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 [1] require: health and safety to be effectively managed; individuals with responsibility for health and safety to be appointed; and suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to health and safety arising from work-related activities (see Five Steps to a Health and Safety Risk Assessment).

Under this legislation, employers must assess health and safety risks in the workplace and those with five or more members of staff (self-employed staff are included in this total) must record the significant findings of the risk assessment. This assessment includes the identification of the hazards (e.g. physical, chemical and electrical) present and an evaluation of the severity of the risks involved, taking into account any controls already in place. It helps the employer identify what precautions must be taken to create a safe working environment, and is the basis for effective health and safety management. The assessment must be regularly reviewed to ensure standards are maintained.

Some useful definitions are:

  • Hazard                Anything with the potential to cause harm
  • Risk                    The likelihood that harm will occur
  • Controls              Measures already taken to reduce the risk
  • Extra controls     Measures that need to be taken to remove the risk

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