Whether you’re in catering equipment maintenance, plumbing and heating or security installation, you will most likely need to carry out risk assessments regularly to ensure there are appropriate measures in place.
If you’re new to the service industry or you’re taking on more responsibilities in your business, you might not know what a risk assessment is or why they’re important to your field of work.
We’ll be going through all this so you can be prepared for your next job. Not only that, but we’ll outline the essential steps you need to take to carry out an effective risk assessment.
What is a Risk Assessment?
So firstly, what exactly is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is a process of identifying and analysing potential risks in the workplace or working environment. For the field service industry, that can also include reviewing the job site area as part of the work process.
Typically, a risk assessment will consist of different steps to outline hazards that affect the health and safety of others around you.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations are in place to ensure employers implement suitable arrangements to protect their employees’ health and safety in the workplace. Therefore, it is mandatory to conduct a suitable risk assessment.
Risk Assessments in the Field Service Industry
It is important to look into what risk assessments are required for your specific industry. Certain regulations may apply depending on what kind of work you carry out. Whether you’re at a construction site, in your head office or anywhere in between, it is vital to consider health and safety.
You will need to check if you require additional inspection or examination reports for equipment such as cranes, ladders or scaffolding. This will depend on the industry and site you are working on.
Other specific assessments related to handling hazardous substances, working with noise and lead and working at heights are just a few examples where additional forms may be required.
What is the Purpose of a Risk Assessment?
The primary purpose of a risk assessment is to protect your employees and other individuals around you. It is a requirement by law for employers to protect their employees, as well as any other people that visit their site or office.
Assessment is one step to building a safe environment and part of the ongoing process of risk management. A risk assessment can also determine important measures that need to be put in place to secure the health and safety of others.
5 Steps of Completing Risk Assessments
So now you know why you need to fill out risk assessments and what they are. Now it’s time to carry out the assessment. To ensure you’re carrying out a thorough analysis, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) details a five-step process that you can follow. These steps will help you fulfil a suitable risk assessment and protect your employees.
1. Identify the possible hazards
Hazards are anything in your work environment that could cause harm. The first step in your assessment is to identify these possible hazards. You will need to take into consideration how people work, what equipment you use and if any hazardous chemicals are present.
During this stage, you’ll need to think about how your employees are affected by these hazards. Make sure you also consider contractors, visitors or members of the public that might either visit your premises or be present onsite.
2. Calculate the risks
After pinpointing the hazards, you can take a look at them in more detail. Here, consider the likelihood of the hazard occurring, as well as the level of risk they pose. You need to assess who will be affected and how, as well as what further action is needed to control the risks.
Take a look at what you are currently doing to control the risks. You might need to revise these if this method hasn’t been updated in a while or if it isn’t effectively managing health and safety as expected.
3. Establish control measures
Now you know what the possible risks are, you can start to implement measures that will prevent them completely or reduce the risk. These measures should help minimise the hazards or prevent them entirely where possible.
You might not be able to completely remove the hazard, but it is still important to do what you can to protect people from harm.
For more information on managing controls for your business, have a look at the HSE’s guidance on managing risks and risk assessment at work.
4. Record your findings
Once you’ve assessed your environment and identified the health and safety risks, it’s time to take note of what you’ve assessed. You will need to record your significant findings for your records if you have five or more employees.
Health and safety risk assessment forms help organise your findings in one document. Clearly lay out your hazards, the severity and the control measures you are implementing.
Documenting everything also helps keep other members of your team in the loop, whether that’s your supervisor or other senior members of the business. For site-specific assessments, you can also give a copy of this to your clients to show that you have conducted a satisfactory safety evaluation of the environment.
5. Review your assessment
Now everything is recorded, you and your team can assess everything you have documented. You might need to amend details where necessary.
Risk monitoring is an ongoing task. Depending on the severity or rating of the risks, you can check this day-to-day or monthly to then re-assess the total risk rating. With your control measures in place, you can now provide an updated hazard severity and update the control measure if necessary.
These measures will also need to be reviewed when significant changes take place, such as a change in staff or types of equipment used for jobs.
If you are ever unsure about completing a sufficient risk assessment, you can refer to the HSE guidance. Check out our resources at the end of this post.
Software to Help Carry Out Risk Assessments
The required paperwork is necessary to support the steps taken in a risk assessment. These records should be readily available if you need to provide proof to enforcing authorities.
Because of this, paper copies of risk assessments might not cut it.
It’s harder to organise paper forms. Without an in-person search function, it can be time-consuming to find the exact document you need among all your other paperwork.
That’s where certification software can help.
With certification software such as Clik Cert, you can easily fill out and manage all your risk assessments in one place. This way, everything is digitised and linked with the relevant company and site. It’s easier to find what you need, and it takes less time to fill out.
Clik Cert certificate packs give you the flexibility to customise the available certificates in the software to suit your business. Fill out safe-to-work checklists or health and safety risk assessment forms and email them directly to your clients for their records. If you’re looking for site-specific risk assessments, get your own bespoke certificates created by our team. This will get your clients coming back for your services again and again.
Certification apps then take the work further. Record your findings immediately when onsite on your mobile device or tablet, without having to type up your notes at a later time.
Take the Headaches Out of Paperwork
Looking for a simple way to manage your risk assessments digitally? Clik Cert is the all-in-one certification software for all your forms, reports and records. You can produce unlimited risk assessments and checklists with the Clik Cert Workplace Safety certificate pack.
Download a free demo to get started with digital risk assessments, or get in touch with our team to see how certification software can help your business.
- HSE: Managing risks and risk assessment at work
- HSE: Administration, risk assessment – Construction health & safety