The University Health and Safety Policy requires Heads of Budget Centres to ensure that risk assessments are carried out for
all activities under their control. There is a statutory requirement ( The Management of Health and Safety at Work
Regulations 1992 ) to carry out risk assessments. Satisfactory completion of this form should fulfil these statutory duties. If assessments have already been carried out under existing legislation (i.e. COSHH, Manual Handling assessment etc.) there is no need to repeat this assessment but it MUST be referred to under the Control Measures box.

What is a risk assessment ??

A risk assessment is nothing more than a careful examination of what, in your work, could cause harm to people, so that you can weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or should do more to prevent harm.The aim is to make sure that no-one gets hurt or becomes ill.

The important things you need to decide are whether a hazard is significant and whether you have it covered by satisfactory precautions so that the risk is small. For instance, electricity can kill (so the hazard is significant) however in an office the risk of it doing so is remote provided that 'live' components are insulated and metal casings are earthed.

There are 5 steps to in assessing risks in the workplace.
Step1.     Look for the Hazards - Hopefully this program will remind you of likely hazards
Step 2.    Decide who might be harmed and how.
Step 3.    Evaluate the risks and decide whether the existing precautions are adequate or whether more should be done.
                Whilst evaluating the risks you may have to carry out further risk assessments such as COSHH etc.
Step 4.    Record your findings.
Step 5.    Review your assessment and revise it if necessary.

Don't be overcomplicated, mostly it is common sense, for instance, do you have machinery that could cause harm ?? if so have you taken reasonable precautions to avoid injury.

HAZARD means anything that can cause harm (e.g.. Electricity, chemicals, ladders, VDU's, floor surfaces, etc.

RISK is the likelihood (high or low) that someone will be harmed by the hazard.


The risk assessment is started by entering your details, i.e. NAME, what area the assessment is for, i.e. Room 320 or Workshops ,The activity you are assessing, i.e. Final year Project Development,
when this is completed you are taken to the index page. From the index page you may choose, in turn, from many broad categories of hazards, selecting one of these will take you to a main risk assessment page for that group of hazards.

Each page has several related hazard groups, for instance the Workplace hazards page has categories for Floor, Roof, Obstruction, Shelving, Water and Exit Hazards. Within each category there are three lines of selection boxes, each line must be completed for each perceived hazard under that category

For instance in the above the Hazard is Voltages greater than 24)V, the probability of the hazard being realized is Probable, the likely ,worst case,  injury type is a Fatality, the persons at risk in this instance are Undergraduate Students and the control measures for all of the Electrical Supply Hazards are to Enclose the equipment in a box etc..

1) The 'Type of Hazard' Drop down list box.

Walk aroud your working area and look afresh at what could reasonably be expected to cause harm, ignore the trivial and concentrate on significate hazards that could result in serious harm or effect several people. Manafacturers instructions, data sheets or the School Safety Policy Document may help you.

Try clicking on the downward arrow on the side of the box (above) and you will see that a list of Hazards is displayed, select one hazard by clicking on it. The list gives a list of common hazards from this category, but is by no means exhaustive, if the exact hazard for this category is not displayed then type it into the free text box line

Whichever  'Type of hazard' box you tick complete the other boxes in that horizontal line associated with it.


Asses the probability of the hazard causing harm, this will determine whether or not you need to do more to control the risk, even after all precautions have been taken it is likely that some risk remains, you have to decide if this remaining risk is high, medium or low.

Again try clicking  on the appropriate box to see a list of probabilities
Each heading is fairly self explanatory.
a) Very high probability implies that the hazard will definitely occur almost immediately if control measures are not applied.
b) Probable implies that the hazard will occur at some time if control measures are not applied
c) Possible implies that the hazard may occur but is fairly unlikely.
d) remote implies that the hazard is unlikely to occur but there is a remote possibility under some circumstances.
e) NONE states that there is no possibility of the hazard being realized.

In evaluating the risk you need to assess the probability along with the type of injury likely list box.

3) Type of Injury list box

There is an additional help box available on screen for this list box ( this is indicated by the * next to Injury type) which explains the meanings of Major and Minor injury. Clicking once on INJURY TYPE* will activate the help box, clicking again will remove it)
In making your selection choose the worst case in conjunction with the probability box above.

4) Personnel likely to be effected by the hazard

This box lists the personnel (or groups of personnel) likely to be effected if the hazard is realized.Don't forget visitors, cleaners etc.
When the list is first opened a scroll bar appears on the side of the box to enable you to see any items not in view.
It is difficult to give every combination of persons likely to be effected by the hazard so choose the closest match, erring on the side of caution, for instance if Technical and Academic staff will be effected but there is a possibility that students may be effected also select the 'All Staff and Students' box.

5) Control measures text area

You should enter existing control measures i.e. Guards that are already fitted to machinery, Fume extraction that is already in place etc.
If you consider that the risks are significant and that the existing control measures are not adequate you need to list the actions necessary to reduce the risks to an acceptable level.

 Each area in each category allows you to list 3 different ( but similar) types of hazard, their probabilities, types of injury and staff affected, this free text area allows you to list the control measures that will be taken to remove or reduce the risk of the hazard occurring to an acceptable levels for all 3 different types of similar hazards. Again a HELP list is available giving typical control measures by clicking on CONTROL MEASURES *. This is by no means an exhaustive list and you should enter any control measures that you feel necessary.
The Risk evaluation is not complete until the control measures are such so as to reduce the risk to acceptable levels.

Finishing the evaluation.

When you are satisfied that the evaluation is complete return to the start page and print the form.
This is a legal  record that the evaluation has been carried out and may be viewed by your supervisor, Health and Safety Co-ordinator or representative of the U.K. Health and Safety Executive during an inspection.

Carrying out the risk assessment is only stage one, now you need to ensure that the control measures that you have highlighted as being necessary are in place before you carry out the tasks.

You may need to modify/revue this risk assessment as time goes on.