Risk Assessment in Practice;

Please note; the following Assessments do not take into account the cost of various control measures.

They are also examples and therefore not complete in content, they should not be used as a substitute for carrying out site specific assessments.

For the following example of Risk Assessment Practice I have chosen 2 generally found hazards;

  1. Work at height;
  2. Use of Bleach for cleaning;

Remember; 5 Steps;

Identify the Hazards;

Work at Height Hazards; one of the most severe is Falls from Height.

Can we eliminate the work at height?

What are our current controls? – Scaffold with Ladder Access.

We could say the scaffold platform is a safe workplace but what about the ladder access?


Must be Death or severe disability. – can we reduce? – not really, if I fall its a long way down!


Look at number of people at risk, how often?

New build property; gangs of 2-4 persons from 5 or 6 trades over a 3 month period, climbing up and down the ladder 8-12 times per day.

Please note; you also have the risk associated to unauthorised persons who might gain access during out of work hours, especially children.

Likelihood = Likely Chance of a fall from the ladder!

Additional Control; Fit a Stair Access – reduce Likelihood to very unlikely.

Use of Risk Rating; Severity x Likelihood;

Look at the table below;

To standardise Risk Assessment we need give the numbers a value and understanding; so, what if;

1 = No injury.
2 = Minor injury or illness.
3 = 7-day injury or illness.
4 = Specified injury or illness.
5 = Fatality, disabling injury, and so on. and.

1 = Very unlikely.
2 = Unlikely.
3 = Likely.
4 = Very likely.
5 = Almost certain.

So, with ladder access we would have Severity of 5, Likelihood of say 3, = 15 bring us into the Red, very high Risk Rating.

With Stair access; still Severity of 5, but Likelihood of say 1, = 5, still medium risk because of the high severity element, but big difference in the overall Risk Rating.

Record on your Risk Assessment form;

Review the Controls;

Hazard = Bottle of Bleach used for cleaning;

Look at the Hierarchy of Controls – Eliminate!

Obtain a less hazardous chemical, which would also be safe to the environment.

Risk Assessment Done;