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Hazards are all around us. They can be found for example in our homes, at work, when traveling to and from work and when playing sports. The level of risk varies from location to location, and the individual and the activity they are undertaking.
Risk assessment is key to the management of health and safety and the law requires both employers and the self employed to undertake risk assessments.
The principles of risk management are not as many people think as a recent development. They have been in place for over 40 years. The introduction of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 placed duties on both employers and the self employed to provide any necessary Information as necessary.
Information in this case includes the significant findings of assessments. Significant findings includes for example details of the hazards identified, who may be affected, risk levels and the identified precautions more commonly referred to as the control measures that need to be followed.
A risk assessment involves identifying the hazards present in any working environment or arising out of commercial activities and work activities. If possible employers shall eliminate the hazard. For example, switching from spirit based paints to water based paints eliminates hazards such as using hazardous substances which generate unpleasant vapors and odors.
There is no set layout or template for a risk assessment form and there are many versions available.
All employees have responsibilities under health and safety law to co-operate with their employer to help them comply with health and safety legislation, and also to follow any instructions and training you give regarding the measures you have in place to control health and safety risks. So if you have reviewed your risk assessments with your employees and the assessment states that employees shall wear gloves for undertaking a particular task then they have a legal duty to wear them.
And much more...