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How do I carry out a risk assessment?

There is no set way of undertaking a risk assessment but the simplest and most straightforward way is to consider following the five steps in our leaflet: Five steps to risk assessment.

  1. Identify the hazards
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution
  4. Record your findings and implement them
  5. Review your assessment and update if necessary

Our publication Five steps to risk assessment describes each of these steps in simple terms. It will help you focus on the risks that really matter in your workplace. 

We also have a number of example risk assessments which show you what a completed risk assessment may look like for a range of different business types.  These examples can be used as a guide when completing your own. When thinking about recording your findings we also have a template which you can fill in to complete your risk assessment requirements. 

If you work in a low risk office based environment you can complete your risk assessment quickly and easily by using HSE’s new web-based tool.  Here you can select the risks and actions that are relevant for your workplace and then save and print your completed risk assessment.   

Remember a risk assessment is only effective if you and your staff act on the findings. It is important you follow through with any actions required and review the assessment on a regular basis. 

Updated 2013-11-13