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How to review a risk assessment

  • Blog
  • 19 October 2017

Businesses don’t tend to stay the same – they develop and change. So it’s important to make sure the measures you have put in place to provide effective health and safety in your company, like risk assessments, are reviewed regularly. This helps to ensure that all your business safety procedures, from the equipment you use to your work processes, continue to fit with your company as it grows and evolves.

So how should you review a risk assessment, what factors should you keep in mind, and when should you conduct a review? This blog aims to help.

How to review a risk assessment

Considering your previous risk assessment, business changes and issues

Carrying out a risk assessment involves a series of steps: identifying the hazards in your workplace; deciding who might be harmed by them and how; evaluating the risks and deciding what precautions to take; and recording your findings and implementing them. You can learn more about the step-by-step process in our guide to risk assessment.

When it comes to reviewing and updating your risk assessment,, a good place to start is to  identify how the running of your business has changed since you carried out the previous risk assessment. This should include questions like:

  • Have there been any changes, such as new equipment or procedures introduced, which could lead to new hazards?
  • Are there improvements you still need to make in the workplace? For instance, have you planned to upgrade your safety gear or improve poor lighting in your warehouse?
  • Have your workers spotted a problem, such as a fault with some equipment they use?

Learning from past accidents

If you have had an accident or a near miss at your company, there are often important lessons that can be taken from the incident to inform your risk assessment. For instance, whether staff should use a particular process when carrying out a specific type of work, or to reinforce the importance of employees following your health and safety policy.

It’s important to point out that you should have carried out a risk assessment after the incident took place in the area it happened, and made changes to prevent it from happening again.

Once you have considered this, you can update your risk assessment documents with your findings. With the information you will be more informed about things like, whether to carry out another risk assessment on an area of your business, if an area should be monitored more closely, and what further changes you should make to your company to improve staff safety.

Involving staff to check on control measures

It’s important to involve your employees in checking that your business’s safety control measures are working effectively, especially as they will be using the equipment or machinery. You should:

Talk to your employees – For instance, find out if they have safety concerns about previously assessed work processes or equipment.

Make managers responsible for reporting – You can give your managers the responsibility to oversee and develop safety reporting procedures. This could include monitoring control measures, such as checking that safety equipment works, and helping to implement solutions, such as finding out about more advanced and effective equipment.

When to carry out a risk assessment review

While there isn’t a legal timeframe to carry out a risk assessment review,  it’s recommended that you conduct one annually. This helps to ensure that hazards and risks haven’t changed in your business, no further control measures are needed, and your health and safety records are up to date.

You should also carry out a review if changes in your business have occurred. This includes changes to the type of work carried out by you or your staff and the processes and equipment being used.

How we can help you with business risk assessment

Carrying out a risk assessment is an essential part of providing good health and safety in business. With our expert services in health and safety, we aim to provide our members with tools and support to carry out and review effective risk assessments. This can help to ensure the safety of staff, while allowing businesses to grow from strength to strength. The service includes:

  • Factsheets and documents, including risk assessments and accident reporting
  • Health and safety policy templates and guidance, written by experts in the field
  • Round-the-clock health and safety advice from industry experts on our Legal Advice Helpline

To find out more about this service and how it can help your business, please visit our FSB Health and safety Advice page. The FSB Health and Safety Service is included as standard with our Business Essentials package. Please take a look at our package comparison page to find out about the benefits of this package.

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