The concept of risk assessments has been around for many years. It is alarming how many risk assessments we are asked to review which have fundamental sections missing making the assessment ineffective.

Below are some common mistakes that we have come across:

1. Done only for legal reasons
Yes they are a legal requirement for anyone who employ 5 or more employees however they must add value and be of a benefit to your company by reducing risks and keeping your workforce safe.

2. Done from the office
Many risk assessments are done from the office without physically assessing the area or activity. This is when it’s highly likely that critical risks can be overlooked and therefore inadequate controls are implemented.

3. Focussing only on control measures in place
Of course you need to state what existing controls are in place, but more importantly you need to identify those controls that should be in place which aren’t.

4. No ranking
Because you need an overview of all of your risks and be able to prioritise the actions, you need to have a ranking system so high risk actions can be addressed first.

5. Not specific to your company
More and more often we are seeing examples of risk assessments which have been purchased ‘off the shelf’ so companies can ‘tick the box’ stating they have risk assessments. However you need to remember the reason for undertaking risk assessments in the first place; to carefully examine what can go wrong in your company and what action needs to be implemented to avoid harm or ill health. Therefore it is critical that risk assessments are suitable and sufficient ie: relevant to your company activities and specific.

If you would like any training to enable you or your workforce to undertake effective risk assessments or you would like us to undertake them for you, then please get in touch.