Observations: General Workplace Risk Assessment

Is adequate Health and Safety information provided to employees and visitors

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

FIRST AID AND ACCIDENT REPORTING: Inadequate first aid equipment and trained first aiders could result in delayed treatment to injured or ill people, including employees and others who may be on site / affected by the work.

Is adequate first aid cover in place? This includes trained staff and first aid kits

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Is there an accident reporting procedure in place that all staff and visitors are aware of?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

A near miss reporting procedure is strongly recommended. By reporting and investigating events that COULD have caused an injury, controls can be put in place to prevent the incident happening again and removing / reducing the risk of accidents. Staff and visitors should be made aware of this reporting procure.

ELECTRICITY: The use of electricity can result in fire or injury (shock / burns / secondary injuries) caused by faulty electrical equipment or misuse of electrical equipment. This can affect employees and others who may be affected by the work.

Does the condition and maintenance of electrical equipment appear to be good? Is a testing regime in place (eg PAT)? Has fixed wiring been tested in the last 5 years?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Does the use of electrical equipment appear to be good? Eg any evidence of overloaded sockets / extensions? Coiled extensions? Damaged equipment being used?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

EMF: If electromagnetic fields (EMF) reach certain levels they have an adverse effect on the health of those exposed. The type and extent of these effects is dependent on the type of electronic equipment used & the frequency band(s) of the EMF’s it emits. Effects can be direct such as inducing nausea, headaches, vertigo, heating-up of body tissue, nerves or internal organs; or indirect such as interfering with pacemakers, body implants, body piercings etc.

Are high risk activities carried out (eg welding, electrolysis, electrostatic presses).

Has an adequate assessment been carried out?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Are high-risk individuals employed in the workplace (eg those fitted with pacemakers, implants, medical devices etc & pregnant workers)?

Has an adequate assessment been carried out?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

LEGIONELLA: Legionella can cause Legionnaires’ Disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. Failure to properly manage the water systems may lead to people becoming infected. People whose immune systems may be compromised are at a greater risk of infection.

Briefly describe the water systems in place: Eg: Cold water is supplied from the mains; Hot water is provided via a small volume point of use electric water heater in the toilet; The volumes of water stored verses the volumes used are such that the risk is considered to be very low; Is there a high risk of dispersal of water droplets (fountains, showers, sprays)

Add media

Considering the type of water system in place and the individuals that could be affected, are controls in place and are risks being adequately controlled? For example regular activities to ensure legionella bacteria cannot proliferate can include: a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is in place and reviewed periodically?; running any infrequently used outlets to ensure that water is not standing in any part of the system for prolonged periods; ensuring that water is kept at temperatures of less than 20oC or more than 60oC if stored for any length of time; Disinfecting shower heads

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

ASBESTOS: Staff and contractors may be exposed to asbestos fibres should they work where there are Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). Disease and ill health associated with exposure to asbestos fibres may not be apparent for many years, however it can lead to life changing illness and death.

If the building was built before 2000, has a suitable asbestos survey been carried out - highlighting location and condition of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs)? If the building was built after 2000 – mark as NA

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

If ACMs are present, are they labelled and periodically reviewed? If the building was built after 2000 – mark as NA

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

MAINS GAS INSTALLATIONS / APPLIANCES: If gas appliances, such as boilers, are not properly installed and maintained, there is a danger of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning

Are gas installations / appliances (including pipework and flues) on the premises, safety checked by a competent engineer (eg registered with the Gas Safe Register) annually and serviced according to manufacturer’s instructions?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified? Ensure that a suitable service regime is arranged without delay

What further controls are required / must be verified? Ensure that a suitable service regime is arranged without delay

MANUAL HANDLING: Poor manual handling techniques and a lack of manual handling awareness can lead to injuries being suffered by those carrying out manual handling activities. Injuries can include back injuries; strains; sprains; bruises; cuts; burns.

Are suitable manual handling arrangements and aids available to minimise the risk of injuries to employees and others who may be affected and are they being used? This must include documented manual handling training for all employees. If employees are seen to demonstrate unsafe practices and behaviors during manual handling activities, this must be recorded as a "No".

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

WORK AT HEIGHT: Work at height means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. A fall from height could result in serious or fatal injuries.

Do employees demonstrate safe practices and behaviours when working at height? For example: Suitable working at height awareness training in place for all affected employees; using suitable access equipment; not using damaged equipment; isolating damaged equipment; storing equipment safely etc

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Does the condition and maintenance of access equipment appear to be good and is an inspection regime in place with records kept? If relevant, are MEWPs / harnesses LOLER inspected etc?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

SLIPS, TRIPS, FALLS: Falls due to slips on wet floors and over trip hazards such as boxes, stock, equipment etc. could result in serious injuries

Are walkways etc kept clear and free from trip hazards? Consider: Are good standards of housekeeping maintained at all times? Is the lighting suitable? Is the flooring in good condition and of a suitable material?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Are walkways etc kept clear and free from slip hazards? Consider: Are good standards of housekeeping maintained at all times? Are spillages cleaned up immediately using suitable methods that leave the floor dry? Are doormats in place for wet weather? Is the flooring in good condition and of a suitable material / coating? Is salt / grit available to address icy walkways during cold weather?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

COSHH: Contact with potentially hazardous chemicals (COSHH) can cause injuries such as burns, skin and eye irritation and breathing difficulties. COSHH items can be flammable and may cause / accelerate a fire. The specific type of hazard and the level of risk posed is dependent on the substance involved, hence all COSHH Items must be assessed individually.

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to identify and control risks presented by COSHH items used by the company? Consider: Is there a thorough COSHH inventory in place for all COSHH items held on site including cleaning materials, anti-freeze, gear oil, butane propane mix etc; have MSDSs been obtained for all appropriate products; have product/substance specific COSHH assessments been completed with all control measures detailed within the risk assessments implemented?; have staff been made aware of any risks and control measures associated with relevant substances; are COSHH items stored appropriately?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

PPE: If PPE fails, it exposes the user to the full extent of the risk, therefore it should only be used where residual risks remain that can be further controlled by using PPE.

If PPE is used – is it suitable and sufficient? Consider: Is it suitable for the job?; Is it being used correctly (training records / fitted correctly / condition checked / maintained / replaced)?; does it present additional risks that are not being controlled (eg reduced dexterity; PPE compromising the use/fit of other PPE)?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

NOISE: Exposure to noise can cause hearing loss and other hearing disorders such as tinnitus. Damage can be instant, or it make take years to become apparent. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 aim to ensure that workers’ hearing is protected from excessive noise at their place of work.

Do any of the following apply? If “yes”, there may be a need to control the noise in the workplace:

• the noise is intrusive or worse than intrusive, for most of the working day

• employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when about 2 m apart for at least part of the day

• employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day

• the industry sector is one known to have noisy tasks, eg construction, engineering, manufacturing; general fabrication, waste and recycling etc

• there are noises due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge-operated tools or detonators, or guns.

• the noise may interfere with warning sounds to avoid or alert to dangerous situations or work around mobile machinery or traffic.

• the noise may interfere with essential verbal communications relating to the task

For the noise risks identified above with a YES, are suitable and sufficient controls in place? Consider: Has a Noise Assessment been carried out? Are hearing protection zones in place, signed and use of hearing protection enforced in these areas? Has information and training been provided and is hearing protection readily available? If the noise is at/above the upper exposure action value (a daily or weekly average noise exposure of 85 dB) is health surveillance in place? Have engineering controls or other technical measures (eg noise shroud over cutter) been considered before PPE?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

WORK EQUIPMENT: Work equipment is any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation for use at work (whether exclusively or not). This includes equipment which employees provide for their own use at work. The use of faulty equipment or the incorrect use of equipment can lead to serious and fatal injuries to operators and others working or otherwise located in the area.

Summarise the equipment used on site (eg Pump truck; Step ladders; Racking; Sack Barrows; Trolleys etc)

Add media

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that employees can use the equipment in a safe and competent manner? Consider: Training records; any observed activity; interviews with personnel; only trained / authorised personnel permitted to use equipment

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that work equipment is in good, serviceable condition? Consider: Is the equipment in good working order? Are pre-use inspections carried out on all pieces of equipment by competent people? Are records kept (thorough and retrievable)? Where necessary, equipment is serviced and maintained by competent people.

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Is there a system in place for isolation and repair of all faulty equipment (including lifting equipment) that all staff are fully briefed on and adhere to?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

LIFTING EQUIPMENT: Lifting equipment is any work equipment for lifting and lowering loads, and includes any accessories used in doing so (such as attachments to support, fix or anchor the equipment). The use of faulty lifting equipment or the incorrect use of lifting equipment can lead to serious and fatal injuries to operators and others working or otherwise located in the area. It can also cause damage to premises or stock

Is lifting equipment in use? Eg Fork Lift Trucks, Man Riser Cages; Mobile Elevated Working Platforms; “High-lift” Pallet Trucks (ie can raise the forks above 300mm); Harnesses; Fall Arrest/Restraints

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that lifting equipment is in good, serviceable condition? Consider: Current thorough inspection certificate in place? Pre-work checks carried out and recorded with issues reported to manager immediately? Load weight limit clear? Tyres in good condition? Regularly serviced and maintained?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that employees can operate (and are operating) the lifting equipment in a safe and competent manner? Consider: Staff trained in safe operations of the equipment prior to being allowed to use it. Training records retrievable? Staff driving to test standards at all times? All surfaces on which trucks operate are in good condition? All loads secure on FLTs before moving / lifting? Load weight limits of lifting equipment observed by the operator at all times? Task specific risk assessments completed? Keys not left in the ignition?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

If FLTs / similar are used, how are they powered? (select all that apply)

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that batteries are maintained and charged safely? Consider: Only trained and competent staff to charge lift truck batteries? Battery charging installations to be located in a designated charging area with suitable signage (eg Instructions for safe use and charging; Signage for mandatory use of PPE; Battery hazard warning sign; Corrosive electrolyte warning sign; Explosion hazard warning sign)? Charging area to be suitably ventilated to prevent the build up of hydrogen/oxygen fumes? Topping up battery acid/water levels must only be carried out by trained and competent personnel. Suitable PPE must be worn (eg chemical-resistant gloves, acid apron, eye and face protection and safety boots).

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that gas bottles are used and stored safely? Consider: Bottles stored in a locked cage, away from the building with suitable signage? Bottle on the FLT is turned off when the truck is dormant (eg over night)?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that diesel is used and stored safely? Consider is there a task specific risk assessment? COSHH assessment? Spill procedure (including suitable bund etc)?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

RACKING SYSTEMS: Racking systems should be properly designed and installed. Poorly maintained / damaged racking and shelving could become unstable, losing loads and possibly collapsing causing considerable damage and potentially fatal injuries.

Does the racking / shelving system appear to be safe in terms of construction and maintenance? Consider: Are periodic independent inspections carried out by an independent, competent racking inspector and recommended repair / alterations carried out? Are regular, recorded inspections taking place? Is a system for off-loading, isolation and repair in place for any damaged racking? Is the racking secured to the floor and any packing / shims also secure? Are locking pins in place on beam end connectors where FLTs etc are used?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Does the racking / shelving system appear to be safe in terms of use? Consider: Is a SEMA sign clearly displayed showing the safe working loads? Is there any evidence of overloading? Is there evidence of the racking / shelving being climbed? Items are not stacked too high / unstable? Using correct type of pallets in pallet racking? Is there evidence of damage to the racking due to lift trucks etc

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

PALLET STORAGE: Free standing stacking should be regularly inspected. Unstable stacking could lead to a collapse causing considerable damage and potentially fatal injuries.

Are suitable measures being taken to ensure that pallets are being used safely? Consider: Are regular inspections undertaken and immediate actions taken where problems are identified? Are pallets in good condition with any trailing shrink wrap removed? Are empty pallets stored safely? Are pallets loaded and stacked securely?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

DSE: The use of DSE can cause long term musculoskeletal injuries if the work station set up or equipment being used is not suitable for the user.

Have all users of DSE completed a self-user assessment and have any identified problems been addressed?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

ACTIVITIES COMPLETED BY VULNERABLE WORKERS. Are any of the following vulnerable workers currently employed?

LONE WORKERS: When working alone, a person can be at greater risk from various hazards, for example, difficulties in dealing with an emergency situation, e.g. accident requiring medical attention; being unable to call on assistance such as when needing to lift a heavy load; violence from third parties such as road rage incidents

Is a valid Lone Worker risk assessment in place?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified? Employers should complete a Lone Worker risk assessment based on the lone worker’s activity

What further controls are required / must be verified? Employers should complete a Lone Worker risk assessment based on the lone worker’s activity

YOUNG WORKERS: Young workers are more likely to cause accidents and suffer injuries at work due to lack of competence and general inexperience of the workplace. If the company employs any young persons (under 18 years of age), a specific risk assessment should be carried out for them, or the existing risk assessment must be reviewed to ensure it takes into account the specific factors for young people .

Is a suitable risk assessment in place?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

PREGNANT WORKERS: Pregnant workers should be regularly assessed throughout their pregnancy to ensure that working conditions and activities are not presenting heightened risks to them or their unborn child.

Is a valid specific risk assessment in place for pregnant workers?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified? Employers should complete a specific risk assessment for pregnant workers

What further controls are required / must be verified? Employers should complete a specific risk assessment for pregnant workers

WORKERS WITH DISABILITIES & TEMPORARY IMPAIRMENT / INJURY: People with physical and/or mental disabilities or temporary impairments should be assessed on an individual basis to ensure that they are not being subjected to heightened risks from their work activities or environment

Is a specific risk assessment in place for any workers with physical and/or mental disabilities or temporary impairments / injuries?

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified? Employers should complete a specific risk assessment for any workers with physical and/or mental disabilities or temporary impairments / injuries

What further controls are required / must be verified? Employers should complete a specific risk assessment for any workers with physical and/or mental disabilities or temporary impairments / injuries

VIOLENCE: In some workplaces, employees and customers can be faced with violence from others that could lead to mental and/or physical injuries

If individuals are considered to be at risk in this workplace / during their work activities? Are suitable controls in place to protect them from violent acts of others? Consider: Levels of staff training and competence; procedures.

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

CONTROL OF MAINTENANCE WORK / CONTRACTORS: Any works being carried out on site by employees or third parties can present a number of risks such as fire, slips, trip falls, electrocutions, falls from height etc. This risk is increased due to contractors’ unfamiliarity with the site and planned activities and employees lack of awareness of works being carried out.

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that people and premises are protected from maintenance work being carried out on site (by employees or third parties)? Consider: Permit to work system; RAMS; signage/notices to employees; contractors’ site induction etc

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

HAND-ARM VIBRATION: Hand-arm vibration comes from the use of hand held power tools and it can cause severe, painful, life changing health problems including disorders of the blood vessel, nerves and joints.

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that risks from using hand held power tools are being controlled? Consider: type of equipment; training; measuring and controlling individuals’ exposure; increasing awareness; health surveillance; suitable PPE

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

LOADING AND UNLOADING VEHICLES: Failure to be aware of moving vehicles, failure to secure parked vehicles and falling loads could lead to serious injuries or death to people involved with, or in the area around the activity.

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that risks from loading and unloading of vehicles are controlled? Consider: the working environment; hand break on; key removal and surrender; people in the area; traffic control; drivers not permitted in cabs; drivers check stability of load before opening doors; suitable instructions, training and equipment provided to work safely and reduce the risks from manual handling

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

DRIVING ON COMPANY BUSINESS (GENERAL): Driving involves significant risks, presenting the potential for fatality or serious injury in the event of a road accident to drivers, passengers and third parties

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that risks relating to driving at work are controlled? Consider: Annual driving licence checks; driving at work policy; mobile phone policy; training; well maintained vehicles; managed driving periods and breaks; pre-drive checklist in place

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

PEDESTRIAN AND VEHICLE MOVEMENTS: Risk of pedestrians being struck by vehicles resulting in serious injury or death. Drivers, machine operators are also at risk of injury if vehicle movements are poorly managed.

Have suitable and sufficient measures been taken to ensure that pedestrian and vehicle activities are controlled, with segregation in place wherever possible? Consider: High visibility clothing to be worn at all times; Pedestrian and vehicle routes to be marked out to give segregation – walkways seen to be used at all times when moving around the site (walkways kept clear); Where possible, barriers and signage to be in place to prevent pedestrians from walking into areas where vehicles manoeuvre; Yard lighting adequate; Reduce the need for reversing by providing one-way traffic systems: Reversing only to be carried out with the presence of a competent person to control pedestrian traffic and assist driver’s as required (Banksman); Speed limits in place with signage and enforcement; Grit salt is available to grit the area when conditions are icy

What is the potential severity?

What is the potential likelihood?

What is the overall risk rating?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

What further controls are required / must be verified?

Additional Observations: General Workplace Risk Assessment

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Risk Assessment Signatures and Review Date

Assessment Undertaken By - Name:

Assessment Undertaken By - Job Title:

Assessment Undertaken By - Signature:

Assessment Accepted By - Name:

Assessment Accepted By - Job Title:

Assessment Accepted By - Signature:
Assessment Review Date (12 months from assessment date or where significant change has occurred):

Understanding Risk Assessments

Most work carries a risk of potential harm and injury and therefore employers must consider what should be actively done to control it. It is not possible to control all the risks completely, however, the risk of injury and damage should be controlled to ‘reasonable’ and ‘acceptable’ levels and it is the aim of risk assessment to achieve this. Whist risk assessment cannot, in itself, remove all risks, it is a means of managing risk.

Risk assessments should review all of the activities of the business and the places of work and identify the hazards arising. The people at risk should be identified along with existing risk control measures. Then following an evaluation against the standards to be met, any required improvements should be identified along with timescales and responsibilities for implementation.

The types of risk control measures to be implemented as a result of the assessment might include elimination of the hazard, engineering controls, safe systems of work, 'permit to work' procedures, safety training or use of personal protective equipment.

Staff should be made aware of the findings of the risk assessments. Where the documents are written in a way which staff will easily understand them, this can be achieved by simply asking staff to read them, and sign to say that they have read and understood. In most cases however, it will be necessary for their manager to check that key points have been understood.

Risk assessments can be particularly useful at induction of new starters, to explain to them the risks of activities with which they may be unfamiliar. Staff should be asked to raise with their manager any issues they feel should be included in risk assessments, or to query inaccuracies.

Risk assessment is an essential part of the planning process that businesses need in order to perform more efficiently and effectively and considers where and how activities will be performed; how they will be implemented and what the expected outcome will be.

Risk assessments must be reviewed if there are reasons to suspect the assessment is no longer valid or there are changes in the work it relates to.

Legal Requirements

The general requirement to carry out a risk assessment arises from the duty on employers to ensure the health and safety of employees and those affected by the work activities given in Sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. However, the explicit requirement is in Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which requires employers to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ assessment of:
• the risks to health and safety of their employees whilst at work
• the risk to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct of his undertaking.

For the self-employed the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 says that if your work involves agriculture, asbestos, construction, gas, genetically modified organisms, railways or if the work activity poses a risk to the health and safety for others then the requirement to undertake a risk assessment applies.

The statutory purpose of the assessment is to identify the measures needed to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed by or under the ‘relevant statutory provision’. In other words, the purpose of the assessment is to identify all of the things which have to be done to comply with health and safety legislation.

There are a number of other regulations that deal with specific hazards, which require specialist risk assessments. These include fire, asbestos, lead, hazardous and dangerous substances pathogens, noise, display screens, manual handling, ionising radiation, construction design, etc. It must be ensured that where a specific format and set of requirements applies, that this is followed, rather than attempting to cover a specific assessment using the general risk assessment process. Instead, the general risk assessment should be used to ‘flag’ where these more detailed assessments are required ie the need for specific assessment can be listed as a required risk control measure within the general assessment.

There is a legal requirement to write down a risk assessment if there are 5 or more employees, however it is strongly advised that your assessments are recorded even if you have less than 5 employees for the following reasons:
• to prove that the assessment was carried out
• to show the assessment to prospective clients
• to join contractor assessment schemes
• to enable the assessment to be more easily reviewed in future
• to check that everything has been considered.
• Risk assessments are often the first piece of written evidence sought by regulators in the event of an accident investigation or a prosecution being brought.
• Risk assessments are used as part of the pre-action protocol in civil cases (some of the key documents requested by a claimant's solicitor are pre- and post-accident risk assessments).

Evaluating the Level of Risk

'Risk' (R) is the combination of the likelihood of the hazardous event occurring (L) and the severity or degree of harm (S). ie L x S = R.

Determining the level of risk therefore requires the assessor to estimate the likelihood of the event taking place and the nature of the harm taking into account risk factors and past experience.

This General Workplace Risk Assessment considers the controls that are already, demonstrably, in place and rates the residual risk assuming all existing controls are being followed.

The evaluation of risk employed in this assessment uses a three by three matrix of Low, Medium and High to enable a person to understand priorities easily. This is explained below:


Likelihood
The number of levels that likelihood and severity are divided into in this risk assessment is:
• Low: the event is unlikely to happen or certainly would occur very infrequently.
• Medium: the event is expected to occur on a less regular basis, but is still recognised as a problem by the team.
• High: an event is expected to occur on a regular basis, for example once a month or so regularly that it is perceived to be a problem.


Severity (nature or consequences or harm)
Harm can range from death, major or minor physical injuries, disease, genetic defects, mental injuries, to social trauma. Possible definitions for consequence being low, medium or high are illustrated below.

• Low: outcome up to (and including) administration of first aid.
• Medium: hospital visit and/or absence for up to three days.
• High: death, or major injury/accident resulting in over three days absence from work.

If the risk is low, (non-existent, trivial or acceptable), then it may not be necessary to do anything to control the risk. However care should be taken to comply with any legal requirements which may place an absolute duty on the employer.

If the risk is Medium, the risks should be reduced as low as is reasonably practicable. Prioritising would include cost-benefit analysis.

If the risks are high, (substantial or unacceptable), then action needs to be taken to control the risk as a high or immediate priority - as far as is reasonably practicable - i.e. in proportion to the magnitude of the risk when balanced against cost. Care should be taken to comply with any legal requirements which place an absolute duty on the employer, regardless of whether there appears to be a benefit when considered against cost.

This process is based on the judgement of the assessor using their knowledge, any information (including accident data) and observations of the workplace. Part of the consideration must also include the 'exposure factor’, which reflects the number of people exposed, and the length of time they may be exposed.


Risk Rating (determining priorities)
The risk assessors will make decisions on the most appropriate management strategies for the risks they have evaluated. The evaluation assists in prioritising any control strategies by considering what the acceptable or tolerable levels of risk are. These values will include consideration of the acceptance criteria within the organisation; the costs of implementing controls against the reduction of risks which may accrue; humanitarian issues (injuries cause real pain and suffering) and legislative constraints

The final risk rating is based on the three risk ratings:
• High risk - immediate action - this activity may be too risky to continue until effective means are taken to control the risk (but bear in mind that some activities may be high risk and acceptable even after applying risk controls).
• Medium risk - managers need to ensure the risks are reduced as low as is reasonably practicable. Prioritising would include cost-benefit analysis.
• Low risk - action may not be required at all, or may be a low priority.

Controlling the Risks
At this point in the risk assessment process, the assessor will make recommendations for additional risk control measures, which are needed to control the risks to an acceptable level.

The most effective risk control strategy is to eliminate the hazard. This is achieved by changing what is done or how it is done, or by stopping an activity or removing a physical hazard. However, in the majority of cases it is not possible to do this and therefore other methods are required to reduce the risk. The next stage is to protect the person from the risk by physical means. If this has not been possible or risk still remains, procedural risk control can contribute to risk reduction, but require more management attention to ensure effectiveness.

The following hierarchy should be applied by attempting to apply the first method of risk control, and then, if risk remains, apply the next level and so on until the risk has been controlled so far as is reasonably practicable:
• Elimination - the risk can sometimes be removed altogether by stopping the hazardous activity or avoiding the technique, equipment or substance that poses the risk.
• Reduction - if possible the risk can be reduced by substituting a less hazardous substance or process.
• Isolate - in some cases it is possible to segregate the people from the hazard by some kind of engineering means. Examples of this would be: enclosures, barriers, interlocks.
• Control - where the risk is increased by proximity or the time of exposure, means can be used to separate the person or reduce this, for example working late or early, or the time for which they are exposed can be reduced.
• Personal protective equipment - as a last resort, personal protective equipment can be used; it is a last resort because it is the least easy to guarantee in terms of effectiveness, it can be difficult to select correctly, not always worn or worn as it should be, difficult to maintain correctly and only protects the wearer. Ordinarily PPE should be used in addition to other risk controls, or in circumstances where it is a specific legal requirement e.g. hard hats on construction sites where there’s a risk from falling objects.
• Discipline - which minimise the risks through a safe sequence of work are usually drawn up by the manager or supervisor responsible for the area in which they are to be used, although there can be common practices across more than one area. Training and supervision are required to reinforce the use of the safe system of work.

Following your General Workplace Risk Assessment, you must review the recommendations and required improvements and establish how you will implement them. Your Action Plan must include timescales and responsibilities for implementation. This plan must be kept up to date as progress is made.

Over time you must audit the risk assessment and your action plan to check that agreed controls are in place, training completed, and that hazards are being managed (or have been eliminated) in the way identified by the original risk assessment.

Review of the Assessments
Because changes occur within staffing, methods, activities, technology and ‘current’ knowledge, it is necessary to review risk assessments periodically. The review of the assessments should be regular but it does not have to be onerous. The legal requirement is that the assessments should be reviewed when there is a reason to believe that they are no longer valid (e.g. time has elapsed, or an accident has occurred) or where there are changes in the matters to which they relate.

In most cases, assessors assign an annual review date to assessments but there will be occasions when a much longer or shorter review period is appropriate.

Reviewing can be a straightforward task, which checks that the assessment is still valid, documents any amendments and includes a signature and date. Where there are significant changes the assessment may need to be re-written entirely.

It is recommended that risk assessments are reviewed on an ongoing basis to take into account any significant changes, outstanding improvements that need to be completed, issues identified by workers and as a result of lessons learned from accidents and near misses.

Support Documentation for Your General Workplace Risk Assessment

The following aspects have been selected for inclusion in to this report as they apply to most workplaces and may not be immediately obvious to business leaders.

1 Health and Safety information

All visitors to the premises must be made aware of emergency procures and any safety critical instructions for whilst they are on site.

Everyone who works for the company needs to know how to work safely and without risks to health. Clear instructions and information must be provided and adequate training given to employees.

• The company must have a health and safety policy.
• A Health and Safety Law poster must be in place
• Employers Liability insurance must be in place and on display
• All staff must have received a company induction – a record must be in place.
• All staff must be trained for the tasks they are doing and the equipment they are using - records must be in place.
• All visitors must be given emergency procedures and safety critical instructions

3 Accident and near miss reporting

• There must be an accident reporting procedure and an “accident book” in place and communicated to all staff.
• It is possible that near miss incidents are occurring that are not reported. Reporting of near miss incidents (for example where injury or significant damage to building/equipment is avoided purely due to good luck) can identify unsafe acts or conditions, allowing them to be rectified before any injury / loss is suffered. A near miss reporting system should be put in place and all staff briefed on how it should be used.

4 Use of electricity

The use of electricity can result in fire or injury (shock / burns / secondary injuries) caused by faulty electrical equipment or misuse of electrical equipment.

• Fixed wiring must be checked every 5 years by a qualified electrician and a certificate issued.
• PAT testing must be regularly carried out on site by a suitably qualified person
• Sockets and extensions not to be over loaded
• Staff trained to spot damaged equipment, plugs, cables and fittings and report to the manager for taking out of service
• Ensure contractors use reduced voltage equipment on any maintenance work ie 110v where possible

5 Electromagnetic fields (EMF)

Invisible electromagnetic fields are emitted by all electronic & electrical equipment when in use. If EMF’s reach certain levels they have an adverse effect on the health of those exposed in two ways:
1) Direct effects such as nausea, headaches, vertigo, heating-up of body tissue, nerves or internal organs
2) Indirect effects such as interfering with pacemakers, body implants, body piercings etc.

The type & extent of these effects is dependent on the type of electronic equipment used & the frequency band(s) of the EMF’s it emits.

High-risk industries include: welding, electrolysis, electrostatic presses.
High-risk individuals include: those fitted with pacemakers, implants, medical devices etc & pregnant workers.

The Control Of Electromagnetic Fields At Work Regulations requires all companies to undertake a risk assessment of EMF exposure to their workforce.

For the purposes of the CEMFAW Regs, EMFs with the frequency range of 0Hz – 300GHz have to be considered and addressed

Sources of EMF at levels below the Exposure limit values (ELVs) and which will not exceed the indirect-effect ‘Action levels’ are listed below. Where these are the only items involved in the work environment and processes, no further action is necessary:

Phones, fax machines, TVs, DVDs, Computer and IT equipment, electric fans, fan heaters and room heaters, photocopiers, printers, shredders, alarm systems, electrical room heating equipment, electric garden appliances, electric handheld and transportable tools, washing machine/dryer, oven, toaster, lighting, including desk lamps, electrical supply, wireless devices (eg Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) (NB: Special consideration should be given to employees with active implants – see ‘Employees at particular risk’ where wireless devises are used) (ref: HSE (2016) Electromagnetic fields at work, HSG281).

Further assessment is recommended if higher risk activities / industries are involved or if high-risk individuals are present.

Employers must undertake an initial assessment of any potential risks from EMF exposure (EMF audit, evaluation & assessment). Furthermore:
• you must prove & ensure exposure is below the Exposure Limit Values*
• identify any at-risk individuals & ensure they are protected
• provide on-going health surveillance of any persons identified
• if required produce an EMF Action Plan
• provide training & information to employees and at-risk individuals

*Where necessary conduct EMF measurement surveys using the latest high-end & compliant EMF Measurement Equipment.

6 Legionella

Legionella causes Legionnaires’ Disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. Failure to properly manage the water systems may lead to people becoming infected. A legionella risk assessment is required by law on the water systems in all buildings. The complexity of the water systems in place will determine the level of the risk assessment required.

Based on the risk assessment findings, regular activities to ensure legionella bacteria cannot proliferate must be undertaken (for example maintaining hot and cold-water temperature, running infrequently used outlets, ensuring that water is kept at temperatures of less than 20oC or more than 60oC if stored for any length of time and disinfecting shower heads and hoses etc on a regular basis).

7 Exposure to Asbestos

An asbestos survey must be carried out, highlighting location and condition of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). These must be labelled and periodically reviewed

If ACMs are discovered during work the area is to be sealed off until an air test has taken place. Work may only be resumed where tests are negative and written confirmation obtained.

8 Mains gas installations/ appliances

If gas appliances, such as boilers, are not properly installed and maintained, there is a danger of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 place duties on gas users, installers, suppliers and landlords. Employers need to comply with the relevant regulations to help ensure worker and public safety.

All gas installations / appliances on the premises need to be safety checked by a competent engineer (eg registered with the Gas Safe Register) annually and serviced according to manufacturer’s instructions. Gas pipework should also be inspected.
• Use a competent engineer to install, maintain or repair appliances
• Ensure that gas pipework, appliances and flues are regularly maintained
• Employers must not allow a gas appliance to be used if they suspect that it may be unsafe
• Check areas have adequate ventilation – don’t block air inlets to prevent draughts and don’t obstruct flues / chimneys

9 Manual handling

Poor manual handling techniques and a lack of manual handling awareness can lead to injuries being suffered by those carrying out manual handling activities. Injuries can include back injuries; strains; sprains; bruises; cuts; burns.

• All staff should receive basic manual handling training
• Employees to use trolleys and other handling aids whenever necessary.
• Two or more employees to move and handle larger items if required

See Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) Guidance on Regulations L23

10 Working at height

Work at height means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. A fall from height could result in serious or fatal injuries.

• Access equipment must be suitable, regularly inspected, and used only for light work of short duration by trained staff.
• Work at height, such as roof work light / high level work on the fabric of the building, to be done by contractors using trained staff and appropriate equipment.
• Working at height training, including instruction to staff on safe use of access equipment, to be given to all affected employees. • All access equipment to be regularly checked for suitability and condition
• Faulty equipment to be taken out of use and labelled do not use
• Equipment to be stored away from walkways etc when not in use


11 Slips, trips and falls

Falls due to slips on wet floors and over trip hazards such as boxes, stock, equipment etc. could result in serious injuries

• Spillages to be cleaned up immediately using suitable methods that leave the floor dry.
• Good standards of housekeeping to be maintained at all times. This includes keeping work areas tidy, goods stored suitably etc.
• Good lighting in all areas.
• Doormats to be in place for wet weather.
• No trailing cables or obstructions in walkways.
• Furniture to be kept organised.
• Equipment to be stored away from walkways
• The flooring is in good condition and of a suitable material / coating
• Salt / grit is available to address icy walkways during cold weather

12 Use and storage of COSHH items

Contact with potentially hazardous chemicals (COSHH) can cause injuries such as burns, skin and eye irritation and breathing difficulties. COSHH items can be flammable and may cause / accelerate a fire. The specific type of hazard and the level of risk posed is dependent on the substance involved, hence all COSHH Items must be assessed individually.

• Consider purchasing low-risk chemicals whenever possible.
• A thorough COSHH inventory should be completed for all COSHH items held on site including cleaning materials, anti-freeze, gear oil, butane propane mix etc
• Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) must be obtained for all appropriate products (products that display a COSHH symbol) and product specific COSHH assessments must be completed.
• All control measures detailed within the risk assessments should be implemented.
• Staff to be made aware of any risks associated with chemicals. In addition, any specific control measures should be made clear.
• Consideration must be given to appropriate storage of COSHH items dependant on the outcome of the risk assessments, for example it may be appropriate to store flammable items in a metal cabinet.
• COSHH items that are no longer required should be removed from site.
• Only authorised chemicals and substances should be used and stored.

If a company sells COSHH items in their own branded packaging, they must be able to provide safety data sheets to purchasers on request.

13 PPE Use

If PPE fails, it exposes the user to the full extent of the risk, therefore it should only be used where residual risks remain that can be further controlled by using PPE.

Failure of PPE could be caused by:
• Selection of the wrong PPE for the job.
• Failure to use it correctly
• Failure to identify faults and repair / replace the PPE
• Failure to consider additional risks that may be presented by the use of PPE such as reduced dexterity
• PPE compromising the use of other PPE

Ensure that:
• all PPE has been assessed as being the most suitable PPE for the requirement it has to fulfil
• all staff have been trained on how to use their PPE including fitting, maintenance and condition checks
• damaged PPE is repaired / replaced and never used whilst damaged

14 Noise

Exposure to noise can cause hearing loss and other hearing disorders such as tinnitus. Damage can be instant, or it make take years to become apparent. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 aim to ensure that workers’ hearing is protected from excessive noise at their place of work.

You will probably need to do something about the noise if any of the following apply:
• the noise is intrusive – for example, as noisy as a busy road, a vacuum cleaner or a crowded restaurant – or worse than intrusive, for most of the working day
• your employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when about 2 m apart for at least part of the day
• your employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day
• your sector is one known to have noisy tasks, eg construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries; waste and recycling
• there are noises due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge-operated tools or detonators, or guns

You also need to consider situations where you will need to consider safety issues in relation to noise, such as where:
• you use warning sounds to avoid or alert to dangerous situations
• working practices rely on verbal communications
• there is work around mobile machinery or traffic

If the above apply to your workplace, you need to consider the following controls:
• A Noise Assessment should be completed and the recommendations followed.
• Ensure that clear signage is displayed in all hearing protection zones and that hearing protection is mandatory and enforced in all such areas
• If the noise is found to be at the lower exposure action value (daily or weekly average noise exposure level of 80 dB), the employer has to provide information and training and make hearing protection available.
• If the noise is found to be at/above the upper exposure action value (a daily or weekly average noise exposure of 85 dB), the employer is required to take reasonably practicable measures to reduce noise exposure, such as:
• Engineering controls or other technical measure (eg noise shroud over cutter).
• Enforce the mandatory use of hearing protection
• Provide health surveillance
• No worker will be exposed (taking hearing protection into account) to levels over 87 dB

15 Use of equipment

Work equipment is any machinery, appliance, apparatus, tool or installation for use at work (whether exclusively or not). This includes equipment which employees provide for their own use at work. The use of faulty equipment or the incorrect use of equipment can lead to serious and fatal injuries to operators and others working or otherwise located in the area.

You need to ensure that:

• Only trained and authorised employees should be allowed to use the equipment
• All equipment used on site must be in good working order.
• Pre-use inspections should be carried out on all pieces of equipment. This often only needs to be a visual check by the operator which may or may not need to be recorded.
• Where necessary, equipment must be regularly serviced and maintained by competent people. Documented records must be maintained to support this
• Ensure that regular, recorded inspections of all equipment (including racking, trolleys, steps, pump trucks etc) is taking place. The records should be thorough, retrievable and clearly dated and signed by the inspector. The inspector should be demonstrably competent to undertake the inspections – this can be a suitably trained / experienced member of staff.
• Ensure that a system for isolation and repair of all faulty equipment is in place and that all staff are fully briefed on the actions they need to take on discovering problems with equipment.
• It is recommended that third parties (eg external contractors) should not use the company’s equipment unless permission given and recorded on a permit to work. The equipment must be checked before and after use and confirmation obtained that the user has the appropriate skills/experience/license to use the equipment safely

16 Lifting Equipment

Lifting equipment is any work equipment for lifting and lowering loads, and includes any accessories used in doing so (such as attachments to support, fix or anchor the equipment), eg Fork Lift Trucks, Man Riser Cages; Mobile Elevated Working Platforms; “High-lift” Pallet Trucks (ie can raise the forks above 300mm); Harnesses; Fall Arrest/Restraints. Low-lift equipment such as a hand pallet truck – which only raises the load sufficiently clear of the floor to enable horizontal movement – is not considered lifting equipment subject to LOLER.

The use of faulty lifting equipment or the incorrect use of lifting equipment can lead to serious and fatal injuries to operators and others working or otherwise located in the area. It can also cause damage to premises or stock

The Requirement for Thorough Examination and Inspection of Lifting Equipment: All lifting equipment must be subjected to a periodic and thorough examination by a competent person to ensure that it is safe for use. The examination is usually performed by an independent accredited inspection body (most engineering insurance companies offer these services). The examination may entail inspection and/or testing, dependant on the equipment and its use. The results of the examination must be recorded in an engineer’s report that identifies:
• make, type and location of the equipment
• safe working load
• any defects observed
• recommendations for any repairs that may be required and when they should be carried out by the date of the examination and date of the next examination due.


You need to ensure that:

• Staff are trained in safe operations of lifting equipment prior to being allowed to operate it. Copies of all training to be kept in staff training records. Only staff formally authorised to operate the equipment to be permitted to do so.
• All surfaces on which the equipment operates to be kept in good condition. Operators to report any uneven ground, potholes etc.
• No passengers to ever be allowed on to the equipment unless condoned by the manufacturer and a risk assessment is in place.
• Unauthorised use must be prevented
• All loads to be secure on the equipment before moving / lifting.
• Load weight limit of the lifting equipment to be clear and observed by the operator at all times.
• Operators to control the area in which they are working.
• All lifting equipment to undergo periodic thorough examination by a competent person and to be regularly serviced and maintained.
• All operators to carry out pre-work checks and to report any concerns to their manager. Checks to be recorded on daily check sheets which should be reviewed by a manager weekly.
• Only trained and competent staff to charge fork lift truck batteries.
• Battery charging installations to be located in a designated charging area with suitable signage (eg Instructions for safe use and charging; Signage for mandatory use of PPE; Battery hazard warning sign; Corrosive electrolyte warning sign; Explosion hazard warning sign).
• Lift trucks to be parked properly in the charging area with the brakes on and the keys removed to a secure location.
• Charging area to be suitably ventilated to prevent the build up of hydrogen/oxygen fumes
• Topping up battery acid/water levels must only be carried out by trained and competent personnel. Suitable PPE must be worn (eg chemical-resistant gloves, acid apron, eye and face protection and safety boots).

17 Racking Systems / Pallet Storage

Racking systems should be properly designed and installed; this includes being able to safely take the load of the goods being stored. The loading capacity should be clearly shown.

Storage areas should be properly designated and clearly marked. The layout of storage and handling areas should avoid tight corners, awkwardly placed doors, pillars, uneven surfaces and changes of gradient. Racking must be protected if it is likely to be struck by lift trucks and other vehicles.

Poorly maintained / damaged racking and shelving could become unstable, losing loads and possibly collapsing causing considerable damage and potentially fatal injuries.

Pallets must be inspected each time before use to make sure that they are in a safe condition. Any damaged pallets must be taken out of use for repair or destruction. Empty pallets must be stored and handled carefully wearing suitable PPE. They shouldn’t be stored in stacks that are too high / unstable or too close to a building where they present a fire risk.

Pallets should be loaded correctly to ensure load stability using banding / shrink wrap as required. If pallet racking is used, the pallets must be suitable for the type of racking in use. If free standing pallet stacking is used, regular visual inspections must take place with immediate unloading of any unsuitable / unstable palates.

Inspect racking regularly to make sure it is safe and repaired and maintained properly. There are three types of inspection:
• immediate reporting of damage and defects
• visual inspections at regular intervals
• ‘expert’ inspections carried out at intervals by a competent person.

Where damage is identified that affects the safety of the racking system, offload the racking and introduce controls to prevent it being used until remedial work has been carried out. Keep a record of inspections, damage and repairs.

You should ensure that:
• periodic independent inspections are carried out by an independent, competent racking inspector and recommended repair / alterations carried out.
• regular, recorded inspections are taking place. The records should be thorough, retrievable and clearly dated and signed by the inspector. The inspector should be demonstrably competent to undertake the inspections – this can be a suitably trained / experienced member of staff.
• There is a system for off-loading, isolation and repair in place for any damaged racking and that all staff are fully briefed on the actions they need to take on discovering problems with racking
• a “no blame” damage reporting system is in place to ensure that any damage (eg that caused by an FLT) is reported immediately.
• racking clearly displays a SEMA sign, showing the safe working loads.
• Care is taken to ensure that items are not stacked too high, especially on the top shelves as they can become unstable
• if lift trucks / similar vehicles operate around the racking, a system for protecting the uprights is in place in case of collision.
• racking is secured to the floor and any packing / shims used under the uprights are also secure.
• locking pins are in place on beam end connectors where FLTs etc are in use.
• beans are not showing evidence of being overloaded


18 Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

The use of DSE can cause long term musculoskeletal injuries if the work station set up or equipment being used is not suitable for the user.
All users of the DSE must complete a self-user assessment to confirm that they are familiar with the correct set up of the equipment for their own use.

19 Activities completed by vulnerable workers

Lone workers
When working alone, a person can be at greater risk from various hazards, for example, difficulties in dealing with an emergency situation, e.g. accident requiring medical attention; being unable to call on assistance such as when needing to lift a heavy load; violence from third parties such as road rage incidents

Employers should complete a Lone Worker risk assessment based on the lone worker’s activity and agree on an action plan to ensure that lone workers are monitored. This should be done when people are working alone and for times when people are working in isolation on the premises. Suitable control measures might include regular call logs or Lone Worker Smart Phone Apps.

See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg73.pdf .


Young workers
Young workers are more likely to cause accidents and suffer injuries at work due to lack of competence and general inexperience of the workplace

If the company employs any young persons (under 18 years of age), a specific risk assessment should be carried out for them, or the existing risk assessment must be reviewed to ensure it takes into account the specific factors for young people such as their lack of experience; being unaware of existing or potential risks and/or lack of maturity. You must consider: the layout of the workplace; the physical, biological and chemical agents they will be exposed to; how they will handle work equipment; how the work and processes are organised; the extent of health and safety training needed; risks from particular agents, processes and work

See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg364.pdf & http://www.hse.gov.uk/youngpeople/faqs.htm#qd .


Pregnant workers
Pregnant workers should be regularly assessed throughout their pregnancy to ensure that working conditions and activities are not presenting heightened risks to them or their unborn child.

Ensure that a specific risk assessment is carried out for any pregnant workers.

See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg373.htm .


Workers with disabilities & workers with temporary impairment / injury
People with physical and/or mental disabilities or temporary impairments should be assessed on an individual basis to ensure that they are not being subjected to heightened risks from their work activities or environment

Ensure that a specific risk assessment is carried out for any workers with physical and/or mental disabilities or temporary impairments / injuries. Reasonable adjustments to the workplace, equipment or duties should be made to reduce the risks they face to as low a level as reasonably practicable.

See http://www.hse.gov.uk/disability/easyread.pdf

20 Violence

In some workplaces, employees and customers can be faced with violence from others that could lead to mental and/or physical injuries
If this is possible in your workplace, ensure that:
• staff are trained in good polite behaviour and how to avoid confrontation. Additional, situation specific training may be appropriate.
• if customers/others show signs of becoming violent, or make threats, there is a process on in place to allow prompt, calm action to be taken and for the police to be called immediately if appropriate.
• any higher risk activity is completed at a suitable time and location, for example, cashing up done after hours and out of customers’ sight.

21 Control of maintenance work / contractors

Any works being carried out on site by employees or third parties can present a number of risks such as fire, slips, trip falls, electrocutions, falls from height etc. This risk is increased due to contractors’ unfamiliarity with the site and planned activities and employees lack of awareness of works being carried out.

Contractors and visitors on site should be controlled. Ensure that all significant work being undertaken on the premises is covered by a permit to work system with external parties providing risk assessments and method statements where necessary. Where the work may affect employees and customers, they must be alerted to the nature of the works through briefings and/or signage.

As a minimum, contractors should have a site induction and make the staff aware of the work they will be carrying out and any associated risks.

Contractors must not use the company’s equipment unless its use has been formally approved.

22 Hand-arm vibration

Hand-arm vibration comes from the use of hand held power tools and it can cause severe, painful, life changing health problems including disorders of the blood vessel, nerves and joints.
Employers should take action to eliminate vibration risks where possible or reduce them to the lowest level that is reasonably practicable. Where vibration risks remain, the risks must be managed adequately and suitable health surveillance must be in place.

Actions include:
• Sourcing low vibration equipment
• Training users on the best way to use the equipment to minimise the effects of vibration
• Measuring individuals’ exposure to vibration
• Increasing awareness
• Providing suitable PPE

See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg175.pdf

23 Loading and unloading vehicles

Failure to be aware of moving vehicles, failure to secure parked vehicles and falling loads could lead to serious injuries or death to people involved with, or in the area around the activity.
Employers should consider the following, and where relevant to the workplace, ensure that:
• All loading and unloading areas are well lit.
• Loading and unloading areas are kept clear of other vehicles, pedestrians and other people not involved in the operation.
• Vehicles are parked on firm level surfaces.
• Vehicles have their brakes applied.
• Vehicle keys are removed during loading and unloading.
• Drivers are not allowed in their cabs during loading and unloading (unless certain activities require their presence there).
• Vehicle restraints should be used where practical.
• Vehicle loading and unloading is carried out so that the load is evenly spread.
• Loads are arranged so that they are secure and do not slide forward if the driver has to brake suddenly
• Drivers are given instructions on unloading at customers’ premises and follow a safe system for unloading.
• Liaison takes place with the customer prior to delivery of goods.
• Delivery drivers check that loads have not moved during transit prior to unloading by your staff
• All staff involved in the unloading of vehicles to be given the necessary instructions, training and equipment to work safely.
• Mechanical handling equipment such as FLT / pump trucks / tail lifts, trollies etc to be used when possible to reduce the risks from manual handling

24 Driving on company business (general)

Driving involves significant risks, presenting the potential for fatality or serious injury in the event of a road accident to drivers, passengers and third parties

Employers should consider the following control measures:

• Check all driving licences annually. Drivers should only be permitted to drive on company business if they hold a valid UK driving licence that explicitly covers the type of vehicle which they’re required to drive.
• Implement a driving at work policy.
• UK speed limits to be adhered to at all times.
• The vehicle should be maintained and ready for winter conditions.
• Consider restricting vehicle use during extreme conditions.
• Suitable maximum driving periods to be set.
• Break periods to be set (example: 15 minutes rest after 2.5 hours driving)
• Driving is prohibited when drivers are suffering from extreme fatigue. It’s the driver’s responsibility to stop and rest
• Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be classed as gross misconduct.
• Drivers should not drive if they are taking prescribed medication which is known to cause drowsiness.
• A maintenance schedule for vehicle to be in place and enforced.
• Pre-drive checklist to be in place, used to spot common faults prior to journey (lights not working, tyre under inflated etc.).
• Emergency procedure to be communicated to all drivers for use in breakdown.
• Drivers should not use a mobile telephone or similar device whilst driving.

See http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg382.pdf .

Please note that this checklist is a hypothetical example and provides basic information only. It is not intended to take the place of, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice; medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; or other applicable laws. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklist is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.