Example risk assessment for a call centre
This example risk assessment shows the kind
of approach a small business might take. Use it as a guide to think through some of the
hazards in your business and the steps you need to
take to control the risks. Please note that it is not a
generic risk assessment that you can just put your
company name on and adopt wholesale without any thought. This would not satisfy the law - and would not be effective in protecting people.
Every business is different - you need to think through the hazards and controls required in your business for yourself.
Setting the scene
The office manager carried out the risk assessment at this call centre, which occupies a single storey of a ten-storey office block. Forty staff work at the call centre, 20 work part time and two members of staff are wheelchair users. Staff turnover is 30% per year.
The centre is staffed from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. The offices contain typical office furniture and equipment. There is a staff kitchen, where drinks can be prepared and food heated, and toilet and washing facilities.
How was the risk assessment done?
The manager followed the guidance in Five steps to risk assessment.
- To identify the hazards, the manager:
- looked at HSE’s web pages on health and safety in offices, and at advice on preventing slips and trips in call centres (published by the North West Contact Centre Project) . They also looked at HSE advice to local authorities in the HSE’s disability and risk assessment web pages;
- walked around the office, noting what might pose a risk and taking HSE’s guidance into consideration;
- talked to the safety representative, supervisors and staff, including those who are wheelchair users, to learn from their experiences and to listen to their concerns and opinions about health and safety issues; and
- looked at the accident book, to learn about previous problems.
- The manager then wrote down who could be harmed by the hazards and how.
- For each hazard, the manager wrote down what controls, if any, were in place to manage these hazards. These controls were then compared to the good practice guidance on HSE’s website. Where existing controls were not considered good enough, the manager wrote down what else needed to be done to control the risk.
- The manager then implemented the findings of the risk assessment. This involved setting out when the actions that were needed would be done and who would do them. These actions were then ticked off as they were completed. The risk assessment was discussed with staff, to check they understood it. The risk assessment was displayed in the staffroom and made part of the induction process for new staff.
- The manager decided to review and update the risk assessment every year or straightaway if any major changes in the workplace happened.