Topic area 5: Risk assessment and risk management

Estimated Duration: 3 Hours


  • To introduce the concept of risk assessment and its role within UK Health & Safety legislation;
  • To define the principal components of risk management;
  • To outline advanced risk assessment methodologies for used in quantitative risk assessments.
  • To outline a practical risk assessment methodology for use in everyday subjective risk assessments.

Lecture Plan

Definitions of terminology:

  • Hazard - anything with the potential to cause harm
  • Risks - the likelihood that a specified undesired event will occur due to the realisation of a hazard by, or during work activities or by the products and services created by work activities.
  • Control Measures - any measure designed to reduce the risk of a hazard occurring.

Risk assessment in legislation:

  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1992 (now 1999);
  • Quarrying Regulations 1999, Health and Safety Document

Concept of risk assessment:

  • Identifying hazard
  • Assessing associated risks
  • Controlling risks

Subjective Risk Assessment

Advanced risk assessment techniques and examples:

  • Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) - used in the petrochemical and nuclear industries.
  • HAZOP's - Hazard & Operability Studie
  • FMEA - Failure Modes and Events Analysis
  • Event/Fault Tree Analysis

Organising for risk assessment ('Risk Management')

  • Developing a risk assessment strategy - undertaking a 'baseline' risk assessment
  • Role and responsibilities for action - creating action plans with actions, responsible persons, expected completion dates, closing off
  • Monitoring and reviewing the system. - closing the loop to ensure that risk control measures are (a) implemented and (b) effective.

Practical risk assessment (subjective risk assessment) and facilitation skills.

Practical exercises

Suggested Reading & Other Resources

  • HSE - Successful Health & Safety Management HS(G)65, HSE Books, 1995
  • British Standards Organisation - BS8800: Guide to Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems, BSI, 1996
  • HSE - Controlling the risks in the workplace IND(G)163, HSE Books, 1994
  • Harms-Ringdahl L - Safety Analysis - Principals & Practices in Occupational Safety, Elsevier Applied Science, 1993
  • HSC - Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1999 ACOP, HSE Books, 1999.
  • CBI - Assessing the Risk: Implementing Health & Safety Regulations, CBI, 1993

Course documents

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Updated 2023-11-21