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Five steps to getting risk assessments right

Five steps to getting risk assessments right
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Five steps to getting risk assessments right

Accidents and ill health can ruin lives and adversely affect your business; that’s why you are legally required to assess the risks in your workplace.  Our step-by-step guide from CapitalSpace’s expert insurance partners, Absolute Insurance Brokers , can help you to carry out your assessment, so you get it right.

Risk assessments are not just pointless red tape; the aim is to prevent harm.  Identifying and minimising the risks in your business protects your staff and your company; it’s also a legal requirement.  As a business owner or senior manager, you can’t afford to get it wrong. 

Put simply, a risk assessment is a careful examination of your workplace and work activities, identifying hazards and assessing the risks that they present to both your employees and others who may be affected by your activities.  It doesn’t have to be complicated: these five simple steps will help you carry out an effective risk assessment so you can protect your employees, suppliers, clients and your bottom line.

Walk around the workplace. Talk to employees as they may be aware of things that aren’t immediately obvious. Manufacturer’s instructions or data sheets can help locate hazards. It’s also worthwhile checking accident and ill health records.

Identify those workers who may be harmed, paying specific attention to any young workers, trainees, new and expectant mothers. What about cleaners, visitors and contractors, who are not in the workplace all the time, as well as members of the public?

What precautions are already in place? Are they being observed and monitored by managers? Draw up a plan for implementing any further precautions.

How likely is it that each hazard could cause harm? Have you met all requirements set by law and industry standards? Have you done what is reasonably practicable to keep your workplace safe? Specify any further precautions needed and compile an 'action list'. Assign priorities to further precautions. Ask yourself whether you can get rid of the hazard altogether: if not, can you reduce the risk? Then draw up a plan for implementing any further precautions.

If you have fewer than five employees, you do not need to write anything down. However, it is useful to keep a record of what you have done. You should review your assessment periodically or if there is a significant change in work practices, equipment etc, or if further information comes to light.

You need to show that a proper check has been made:

  • You have asked who might be affected by the hazards
  • You have dealt with all the obvious hazards, taking into account the number of people who could be involved
  • The precautions taken are reasonable and the assessment remains valid

Improving health and safety need not cost a lot of money. However, failure to take simple precautions can cost you a lot more if an accident does happen.


Established in 2009, award-winning Absolute Insurance Brokers work across a wide spectrum of industries and professional services, from start-ups to large nationals.  Their specialist advice includes areas such as risk prevention and health and safety measures.  Absolute’s philosophy as independent brokers is to provide complete peace of mind for their customers by understanding their businesses to develop the right type of insurance program to ensure their requirements are met.  This approach, underpinned by first-class personal service, has underpinned Absolute’s growth, from a starting point of just 3 members of staff to more than 20 employees.

Steve Salter – Head of Trading

Steve recently joined Absolute Insurance Brokers with 29 years’ experience working for a global insurer, where he led a team of cross class underwriters handling all classes of general insurance.  This has provided Steve with an unparalleled understanding of the risks businesses face and an insight into insurers’ approach to risk.

Warren Merton – Director

Prior to co-founding Absolute, Warren worked in the insurance industry as both a broker and underwriter for over 20 years.  During this time he undertook roles in both the London market and regional operations.  This included working for a number of leading insurers and national brokers in both commercial underwriter roles and new corporate business development.

To find out how Capital Space business premises could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667