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Risk assessment
Domain: Health and safety at work => Preventive measures
Grammatical category
Noun phrase
Grammar notes
The process of estimating the magnitude of risk to the health and safety of any person arising out of, or in connection with, work or the conduct of their undertaking and deciding whether or not it is acceptable. It involves the following basic steps:
1) identify hazards, deciding who might be harmed and how;
2) assess the magnitude of risk from each hazard;
3) decide whether existing control measures are adequate or more should be done;
4) record and communicate your findings as appropriate (see below); and
5) review and revise the assessment as necessary.

Other information All employers and self-employed people have a duty to conduct a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, in order to assess the health and safety risks to workers and others who may be affected by their work or business. It should identify how the risks arise and how they impact on those affected. This information is needed to make decisions on how to comply with health and safety law and take proportionate action to manage risks. All duty-holders should carry out a systematic general examination of the effect of their undertaking, their work activities and the condition of the premises. Each risk assessment must be reviewed if there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid, or if there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates. Duty-holders must effectively communicate the significant findings of the risk assessment to employees who may be affected. Those duty-holders who employ five or more employees must record these findings, including any group of their employees identified as being especially at risk.
Definition source
Jones 2003, adapted from Regs. 3 and 10 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Approved Code of Practice and Guidance; and HSE's leaflet "5 steps to risk assessment", INDG163 (rev1), 2000, HSE Books
European legislation
Directive 89/391/EEC
British legislation
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Related terms
Concept diagram