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Risk assessment was first introduced with the COSHH regulations and also with the European based regulations so-called six-pack covering Management regulations; Workplace regulations, Manual Handling Regulations, DSE regulations, Work Equipment regulations and the PPE regulations in January 1993.  The purpose of the risk assessment is to help employers determine what measures they have to take in order to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Risk assessing principles were issued with the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999. Employers were required to undertake a formal assessment of risks then record and action there findings.  Risk assessments can be carried out by a competent person in the workplace or they are carried out by an external company.

There are lots of myths surrounding risk assessing and what you have to do but generally, they cover the main risks rather then the trivial ones. There are check lists and flow charts available to help employers carry out effective risk assessing.

Risk assessments help to identify and control any risk to health in the workplace and offer a written record of the assessment and control measures taken to reduce or eliminate the risk.  You are not required to eliminate all risks, but to do your best to identify all risks and reduce or control these risks. You can find examples of risk assessments on the HSE website, we have put the links in the student download area for this course. Also, ask at your workplace to see the current risk assessments so you can get an idea of how your company assess and record their findings.