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Risk Assessment for Small Businesses

A risk assessment is a procedure carried out businesses, both small and large companies, to manage health and safety regulations and keep up with a multitude of regulations businesses must follow. It is also essential for business insurance, which all businesses must have in the event of an accident or incident involving their employees.

What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is an examination of your work place where the aim is to identify potential hazards in ythe workplace, what steps can be taken to adaquetely reduce these risks and to make sure you can adhere to all health and self regulations.

A risk assessment is compromised of 5 steps:

  1. Ideniftying the hazards in the workplace.
  2. Decide who could be harmed and how.
  3. Evaluate the potential risks of the hazard and any preventions that could be made.
  4. Implement controls and precautions.
  5. Review the assessment regularly and discuss whether there are any significent changes to be made.

Why do I need a risk assessment?

If an accident were to happen in the work place, you'll need to claim from your insurer if your employee wants to claim compensation. By having a risk assessment, it shows that you have tried to prevent potential health and safety incidents and may drastically reduce the premiums you pay if an employee were to claim. Some insurance policies may not pay out in cases where a proper risk assessment was not performed, and others may refuse to insure a company without a risk assessment.

All employers also have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers is reasonably looked after. Any business with more than 5 employees must have a written statement of health and safety regulations, and other employers also have a duty to:

  • Carry out assessments of risks in the work place, including assessment to the activities of employees in the workplace;
  • Introduce effective methods to organise, maintain and plan health and safety regulations to prevent accidents;
  • Appoint at least one competent individual to advise on safety regulations and procedures;
  • Provide employees with reliable information regarding company health and safety/

Where can I find advice?

There are many third party organisation that can help oversee the general direction of your risk assessment. However, it is recommended the employer do most of the work and avoid using third parties to organise their risk assessment, as many issues can be overlooked.

When you look for competent advice for your health and safety regulations you will also receive guidance on a risk assessment. Law companies, such as CRL Risk Adviser, can provide advice for small business and other companies looking for a risk assessment. For information and where to obtain documents, advisors and legal advice regarding risk assessments contact the Health and Safety Executive, or visit their website at hse.gov.uk.

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