Introduction to this document

Risk assessment - blank

Although carrying out risk assessments is a legal requirement, it can be confusing for those unaware of what’s really required. To help you complete the process use our blank form.

Risk management

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 all employers are required to carry out risk assessments of all work activities conducted by its employees. To help you complete the process, use our Risk Assessment - Blank document, following the guidance below.

Identify the activity (column 1)

Here you must identify the activities being carried out. You only need to cover those activities where you consider the possibility of the risk of harm to be high.

Person at risk (column 2)

Here you need to consider who is at risk from the hazards identified. This may include colleagues, customers, contractors, visitors and the general public etc. You will also need to consider young persons and new or expectant mothers.

Significant Hazards (column 3)

Here you must identify the hazards associated with the work operation to be carried out and in the place where it is to be done. Trivial hazards can be ignored and concentration given to significant hazards which could result in serious harm or affect several people. All aspects of work activity should be considered and a systematic approach adopted that deals with both routine and non-routine tasks.


Risk factors (column 4 - 3 sections)

A calculation now needs to be carried out to determine the degree of risk by taking into account the possible severity of any harm that could be caused and the likelihood of it happening. This will result in a risk score that will determine whether or not further action needs to be taken. Using the information at the bottom of the form you must decide on the likelihood of the risk causing harm (L) and on the severity of that harm (S). By multiplying the two figures together you will obtain the degree of risk (DR) i.e. L x S = DR.

Control measures (column 5)

The law says that you must do what is reasonably practicable to keep both the work and the workplace safe. This means instituting control measures and precautions to eliminate or reduce risk to the lowest possible level. Two questions need to be asked here: a) can I get rid of the hazard altogether?; and b) if not, how can I control the risks so that harm is unlikely? The control measures that you have detailed should be recorded on the form in this column.

Residual risk (column 6 - 3 sections)

You can then re-calculate the residual risk i.e. the risk that remains after the control measures have been applied. You can do this by repeating the calculation for degree of risk mentioned above. If you still consider the residual risk to be high then you should reconsider your control measures until you decide that the residual risk is at an acceptable level.

Note. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) should only be recommended as a control measure when some residual risk still remains or is specifically required by other legislation/customer site rules. All other avenues should be explored to reduce risk to a minimum before considering PPE.

Recording the findings

By fully completing our risk assessment template you have done this. However, risk assessment is more than just completing a form. The assessment should be both suitable and sufficient. The information relating to the risk assessment, such as the control measures, need to be brought to the attention of and discussed with all of the people that may be involved in the work process. Afterwards consider giving all of these people a personal copy and keeping a record of the signatures of acceptance.


Keeping copies will help to show that you have done what the law requires. These may play an important part of an investigation should an accident occur. Such documents may also need to be disclosed in the event of any action for civil liability.


In some instances the assessments may need to be reviewed and updated. This is particularly relevant if new hazards are encountered or if the work process or venue changes. However, this does not have to be done for every trivial change. It is considered to be good practice to review assessments from time to time to ensure that any precautions put in place are still working effectively.