A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people in the workplace, so you can decide whether you have done enough or should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others (members of the public, visitors and contractors for example) have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures. 

The duty to carry out risk assessments is outlined in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR). The requirements are wide-ranging and overlay other health and safety legislation, including the general duties in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act. The provisions under MHSWR relate to both safety hazards and hazards to health, with duties extending to compliance with other regulations that have more detailed requirements, such as the Manual Handling Operations Regulations and the Control of Noise at Work Regulations.

A risk assessment is about identifying appropriate measures to control the risks in your workplace.

Key action points when completing health and safety risk assessments

Templates for risk assessments and follow-up actions

Risk assessments

Example form

Manual handling

Evaluation checklist

Additional resources

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to some common queries about health and safety issues and related legislation.