; Risk Assessment - the framework

Risk Assessment is the backbone of the health & safety process. It needs to involve everyone that is responsible for the safety of the group and those that will be carrying out the activity.

A risk assessment is simply a way of identifying:

  • All the hazards - anything that has the potential to cause harm
  • Who could be harmed - volunteers, young people, the public
  • And the risk - the likelihood of that hazard causing harm, and the degree of harm it would cause

You then assess the risks and implement measures to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. There's no prescriptive way of formatting a risk assessment, although there are many resources available to help. Some guides suggest giving values to the risk to help decide if the activity is too risky to take place. Some thought also needs to be given to who may be harmed, or particular risks for certain people (e.g. pregnant women, those with a disability, people whose first language is not English etc).

Document Icon See the Sample Risk Assessment for an example.

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