Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment is essential to business success

Risk assessment is something we all do when we cross the road, decide whether or not to smoke or climb a ladder. None of us want to be harmed as a result and we make a judgement about whether or not we believe we will be. If the information we use to make the decision is wrong or we choose to ignore it, we may well suffer as a result.

Risk assessments are an ABSOLUTE LEGAL REQUIREMENT in the work situation.

If there are five or more employees, including the manager and part time staff, the assessment must be written down. With less than five employees it is much more likely that information can be passed to everyone who needs it in the course of a simple discussion.

What you need to do is think about:

  • What are the things that could go wrong?
  • Who could be affected?
  • How likely are things to go wrong?
  • What can be done to stop them going wrong or reduce the consequences?
  • Have checks been carried out to be sure that the controls were effective?


For some things there are more detailed legal requirements for assessing risk. The important ones you are likely to come across are:

  • Risks from chemicals (COSHH)
  • Risks from asbestos
  • Risks from lifting and moving things by hand (manual handling)
  • Risks from office equipment
  • Risk from Fire

Remember, some of the tasks you perform, like ladder work, may not have their own set of regulations but best practice could be buried inside other regulations.

Related topics

What is Generic Risk Assessment

Health and Safety at Work

Health and Safety frequently asked questions

Health and Safety Law Overview

Competence – Improving your ability to bid.

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