RIS Group

Health and Safety - Workplace Risk Assessments

Workplace Risk assessment is an essential part of the planning stage of any health and safety management system.

Workplace Risk assessment methods are used to decide on priorities and set objectives for eliminating hazards and reducing risks.

Wherever possible, risks are eliminated through selection and design of facilities, equipment and processes. If risks cannot be eliminated, they are minimised by the use of physical controls or, as a last resort, through systems of work and personal protective equipment.

Call 0800 978 8659 or email on info@risgroup.co.uk for your free consultation.

Types of Workplace Risk Assessments we can undertake on your behalf
  • Task based risk assessments
  • Role / activity based risk assessments
  • Location based risk assessment
  • COSHH Assessments
  • Noise Assessments
  • Vibration Assessments (Hard / Arm vibration)
  • DSE Assessments (Display Screen Equipment)
  • Manual Handling Assessments
  • Fire Risk Assessments
  • Work Package Plans (Rail Sector) 
  • Task Briefing Sheets (Rail Sector)

Some Definitions


A hazard is the potential of a substance, activity or process to cause harm. Hazards take many forms including, chemicals, electricity, and use of a ladder. A hazard can be ranked relative to other hazards or to a possible level of danger.


A risk is the likelihood and the consequence of a substance, activity or process to cause harm. Risk (or strictly the level of risk) is also linked to the severity of its consequences. A risk can be reduced and the hazard controlled by good management.

The Workplace Risk Assessment Process

The HSE approach to risk assessment (5 Steps)
  1. Identify the hazard
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how
  3. Evaluate the risk and decide on precautions (risk controls - existing and additional)
  4. Record your findings and implement them
  5. Monitor and review your assessment and update if necessary

Evaluation of Risk

A quantitative workplace risk assessment attempts to quantify the risk level in terms of the likelihood of an incident and its subsequent severity.

The higher the likelihood and severity, the higher the risk will be. The likelihood depends on such factors as the control measures in place, the frequency of exposure to the hazard and the category of person exposed to the hazard.

The severity will depend on the magnitude of the hazard (e.g. voltage, toxicity). HSE suggests in HSG(65) a simple 3 x 3 matrix too determine risk levels.

Likelihood of occurrence    Likelihood Level
Harm is certain or near certain to occur  High 3
Harm will often occur  Medium 2
Harm will seldom occur  Low 1
Severity of harm  Severity Leve
Death or major injury (as defined by RIDDOR)  Major 3
3 day injury or illness (as defined by RIDDOR) Serious 2
All other injuries or illnesses Slight 1


Risk = Severity x Likelihood




Slight 1

Serious 2

 Major 3

 Low 1

 Low 1

Low 2 

 Medium 3

 Medium 2

Low 2

Medium 4  

High 6

 High 3

Medium 3 

 High 6

 High 9

6 - 9 High Risk
3 -4 Medium Risk
1 -2 Low Risk 


“"RIS build a strong rapport with clients, focuses on the key issues and holds himself to high standards for delivery. I have enjoyed working with Sean and wish him every success in his business."”
Lindsay Blackman , HR Director , McNicholas Construction, Software Developer

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