A 5 step guide for employers, workers and their representatives on conducting workplace risk assessments

This guide aims to help employers, workers and their representatives assess safety and health risks in the workplace.

How to assess the risks in the workplace? Follow the five steps in this leaflet:

Step 1: Identify the hazards;
Step 2: Identify who might be harmed and how;
Step 3: Evaluate the risk – Identify and decide on the safety and health risk control measures;
Step 4: Record who is responsible for implementing which control measure, and the time-frame;
Step 5: Record the findings, monitor and review the risk assessment, and update when necessary.

The risk assessment template given as an example in this guide is designed to show the logical steps in a risk assessment and it is also convenient for recording the findings in a simple and readily accessible format.

A workplace risk assessment is one of the key tools for improving occupational safety and health conditions at work. Thus it plays an important role in protecting workers and businesses, as well as complying with the laws in many countries. It helps everyone focus on the risks that really matter in the workplace – the ones with the potential to cause real harm.

A well conducted workplace risk assessment will contribute to the protection of workers by eliminating or minimizing work related hazards and risks. It should also benefit businesses through better organization of working practices potentially increasing productivity.

The methodology described in this guide is not the only way to conduct risk assessments, there are other methods that work well, particularly for more complex risks and circumstances. However, we believe this method is the most straightforward for the majority of organizations, in particular small and medium sized enterprises.