guidance on using generic risk assessments

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GUIDANCE ON USING GENERIC RISK ASSESSMENTS
Health and safety legislation requires every employer to adequately assess the risks to the
health and safety of his/her employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.
The risks to the health and safety of persons not in his/her employment arising out of or in
connection with any work activity must also be assessed. These assessments should also
identify and record any group of employees particularly at risk; and be formally recorded.
What is a Risk Assessment?
A risk assessment is a careful examination of how people may be harmed from a
particular activity or situation. The assessment will help you to identify the likelihood of
harm and whether you can reduce the risk to a reasonable level, through the introduction
of control measures.
Hazard: A hazard is defined as something with the potential to cause harm.
Risk: A risk is the likelihood of potential harm from the hazard being realised. This is
usually evaluated by considering the likelihood of the harm occurring and the potential
severity of the harm.
Generic Risk Assessments
These generic risk assessments have been produced to assist establishments with risk
assessment, and provide a basis for individual sites to consider their specific
circumstances. Some assessments may not be relevant to your establishment, others may
need customising to suit your specific location and/or work activity and others may not
need changing at all.
The forms are only partially completed and will need to be adapted by a competent person
from the establishment, who can complete the rest of the form having considered the
generic hazards, risks and control measures listed on the form and add any site specific
items identified.
The assessments require the risk to be evaluated before and after the suggested controls
are in place. This will help identify the urgency of control measures and whether, following
the introduction of controls, the risk can be reduced sufficiently. The following matrix may
help to determine your risk rating.
Risk Matrix:
Severity
Slightly harmful
Harmful
Extremely harmful
(e.g. Superficial injury or
temporary discomfort or
distress)
(e.g. Sprains, minor
fractures, ill health
leading to disability)
(e.g. major fractures,
amputations, fatality, life
shortening illnesses)
Highly unlikely
LOW (L)
LOW (L)
MEDIUM (M)
Unlikely
LOW (L)
MEDIUM (M)
HIGH (H)
MEDIUM (M)
HIGH (H)
VERY HIGH (VH)
Likelihood
Likely
Generic Risk Assessment Guidance
Page 1 of 3
Date: Oct 06
It is unlikely that all risks can be reduced to low levels. Table 1 will help you to determine
action that needs to be taken.
Table 1:
Risk Rating
Action required
Initial risk rating
Very High (VH)
Residual risk rating
May only take place if good
control measures can be
implemented.
Must not take place.
High (H)
May only take place if good
control measures can be
implemented.
Seek further advice
Medium (M)
If it is not possible to lower risk further, you will need to consider
the risk against the benefit.
Low (L)
No further action required.
You will need to identify further
controls to reduce the risk rating.
The completed generic assessments will need to be signed off by the person completing
the assessment and the establishment manager. They will then need to be reviewed and if
necessary updated, at least annually. A review will be required sooner if an incident or
accident occurs, or there are significant changes to the premises, staff or procedures.
Further Guidance
If you require any further assistance with completing these generic risk assessments
contact the Education Health and Safety Team
Room 4/5
County Hall
Hertford
SG13 8DF
[email protected]
Telephone: 01992 556478
Fax:
01992 555962
For guidance on carrying out risk assessments for curriculum activities please check the
information available from the following sources:
 Hertfordshire County Council School Improvement and Advisory Service Design and
Technology Health and Safety Guidelines
 CLEAPSS School Science Service Laboratory Handbook
 Hertfordshire County Council Children, Schools and Families Offsite Visits Manual
 County Curriculum Advisers based at Wheathampstead Development Centre
Generic Risk Assessment Guidance
Page 2 of 3
Date: Oct 06
GENERIC RISK ASSESSMENT
Establishment:
Activity or location being assessed
Assessment by:
Who carried out this assessment
Review Date:
Approved by:
e.g. Manager, Technical Adviser
Record proposed date of review
Hazard /
Risk
Consider
the generic
hazards
and risks
listed in
this
column.
Add any
sitespecific
hazards
you have
identified.
Who
is at
Risk?
Initial
Risk
Rating
Pupils,
staff,
the
public
etc.
Consid
-er
those
with
special
needs.
Before
controls
are
applied.
Use the
risk
matrix to
help you
rate the
risk
Normal Control Measures
(Brief description and/or reference to
source of information).


Consider the control measures
listed here.
If you identify any other control
measure you have on your site,
add them to the list.
Date:
Date:
Are Control Measures
Y/N/NA
In Place
Adequate
Are the
control
measures
in place?
Are they
adequate?
Additional Control Measures
(to take account of local/individual
circumstances).
Record additional controls you have identified
and the date they were implemented. Ensure
that you address anything highlighted under
normal controls as needing action.
Residual
Risk
Rating
With all
controls
in place.
Use the
risk
matrix to
help you.
Rate the
risk. Look
at Table
1 to see if
further
action is
required.
REVIEWS:
DATE OF Record
REVIEW: actual date of
review
REVIEWED BY:
Who carried out the review?
COMMENTS:
Record any comments reviewer wishes to make. Including recommendations for
future reviews.
DATE OF
REVIEW:
REVIEWED BY:
COMMENTS:
Generic Risk Assessment Guidance
Page 3 of 3
Date: Oct 06
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