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Managing Risks In Your Business

When running a business you must manage the health and safety risks in your workplace. Firstly you need to think about what might cause harm to people in your business then decide what can be done to prevent that harm. This is known as a risk assessment. Once the  risks have been identified you will need to decide how to control them and put the appropriate measures in place.

A risk assessment is about identifying sensible measures to control the  risks in your workplace. The law does not expect you to remove all risks, but to protect people by putting in place controlled measures to control and reduce those risks.

Assessing the risks in my workplace?

A good starting point is to assess your workplace and look for any hazards - a hazard = anything that may cause harm.

Then think about the risks - a risk = the chance (high or low) of somebody being harmed by the hazard, and how serious the harm could be.

Understand how accidents could happen and who might be harmed in your workplace. Involve your employees...ask them what they think the hazards are, as they may notice things that are not obvious to you. In addition they may have some good ideas on how to control the risks surrounding them.Concentrate on the risks that are most likely to cause harm...the real risks

Consider the measures you are already taking to control the risks in your workplace and discuss what could be done to make your workplace safer.

Once the risks and control measures have been identified you should put the appropriate measures in place. 

Then record your findings. If you have less than five employees you do not have to write anything down but it is good practice to keep a record. Use a risk assessment template available in Microsoft Word Word document or Open Document Format. This risk assessment template also includes a section for your health and safety policy Word document so you can record everything in one place ...keeping it simple.

Take a look at these example risk assessments. They are a good example of what a completed risk assessment might look like for your business type. These will help you when it comes to writing  your own. Also take a look at these useful online risk assessment tools .

You can get more ideas and help on ways to control the risks in your business by going to these health and safety toolbox pages.

Workplaces generally change all the times... sooner or later a business will bring in new equipment, substances or procedures that could lead to new hazards. Review your risk assessment on a regular basis. If there have been any significant changes then update your risk assessment.