What is a risk assessment?

In general terms, a risk assessment is the methodical analysis and exploration of anything that is carried out in the workplace including the specific jobs and the processes involved. It aims to identify the hazards and calculate the risk of someone being harmed and the measures that need to be put into place to remove or to control and reduce the risk to an acceptable level. The primary goal is to ensure the health and safety of not only workers, but also customers or anyone else visiting the work premises. It is a legal requirement for any employer to protect employees and others from harm and there must be accompanying documentation when 5 or more people are employed.

How to perform a risk assessment:

  1. Identify what could cause illness or injury in the workplace
  2. Assess the risk – decide the likelihood that someone may be harmed and how serious it could be
  3. Take appropriate actions to remove, eliminate, reduce and control the risk
  4. Record your findings including the hazards, who might be harmed and what you are doing
  5. Review regularly – if a situation arises or every 6-12 months

Why is a risk assessment so important?

An accident could cost your company thousands of pounds through damages claimed, but most importantly, risk assessments can help keep people safe, including those who work for you and any visitors.

Once the things that could go wrong have been identified and strategies have been put in place, your business will be better prepared and have a more cost-effective way of coping and dealing with them. Implementing an effective risk management programme will increase your chances of success.

Why should businesses conduct a risk assessment?

Here are a few reasons why you should regularly conduct a risk assessment:

  • To adhere to legal requirements
  • To avoid large fines which can be levied if businesses do not meet required standards
  • To safeguard employees, visitors etc.
  • To ensure the risks to the health, wellbeing and safety of all people is eliminated where possible or controlled
  • To reduce the threat of possible litigation
  • To avoid invalidating your insurance

There are many benefits of providing a safe and secure environment for everyone, with people and your assets protected. Your legal liability is reduced and the stability of your operations increases. You’ll also have savings in terms of time, income, assets, people and property.

How does a risk assessment impact my insurance?

Having a risk assessment in place won’t necessarily prevent you from taking out cover with your chosen provider. If you experience an incident in your business which may lead a claim, such as employers’ or public liability claim, keeping a record of the incident, any relevant CCTV, plus any other evidence that you have in relation to the incident may help your provider in the event of a claim.

Free risk assessment and template

The best way to complete a risk assessment is to fill out a template.
At The Retail Mutual, we have been managing claims and protecting businesses since 1999. We have drawn on more than 20 years of experience to create our most in-depth health and safety guide and accompanying risk assessment template.
This risk assessment works as a guide to help you identify risk you may not have thought of and provide a solution to help you reduce these risks.
The risk assessment includes information about:

  • A free, user-friendly risk-assessment template
  • The importance of performing risk assessments
  • How to spot risks
  • Working with tools of the trade
  • Solutions to reduce risks
  • Fire safety
  • Chemical symbols
  • Protecting your staff
  • COVID-19 risk update

Don’t take the risk when it comes to risks, download our free risk assessment guide now.

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