Answered By: Health and Safety Team
Last Updated: Aug 25, 2023     Views: 172

What is a Risk Assessment?

The Risk Assessment procedure is the process of identifying hazards and determining the risks present in an activity, in the workplace or the physical environment.

'Risk' is the effect of uncertainty on the delivery of an objective, whilst an assessment is a judgement, which can be informed by knowledge, experience and appetite for taking risk.

Why do we need to carry out a Risk Assessment?

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, a written risk assessment is required where the risk identified is 'significant', for example it is 'worthy of consideration'.

The Risk Assessment should:

  • identify what hazard or activity could cause injury, illness or harm in your business, for example hazards
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously, i.e. the risk
  • take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn't possible, to manage the risk by reducing the likelihood or consequence of the risk, or both control the risk.

What should be covered in a basic Risk Assessment? 5 Steps to Risk Assessment

  1. identify the hazards
  2. decide who may be harmed and how
  3. evaluate the risks and decide on control measures
  4. record your findings
  5. review the risk assessment.

When should I complete a Risk Assessment?

All current and planned activities, managed, organised and undertaken on behalf of the University including educational activities are within the scope of the Risk Assessment Policy.

Activities presenting 'significant' risk to the health and safety of staff, students or others must be risk assessed, and where a risk is identified as significant, the assessment should be written down using an approved University risk assessment template.

Useful links to Risk Assessment information

Who can I talk to about Risk Assessment?

The Safety Team can assist, guide and support you in completing your Risk Assessment. You can contact the team at