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Completing a risk assessment

Understand how to complete a risk assessment.

How to complete a risk assessment

The following steps will enable you to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment:

1. Identify the hazards

  • Involve persons carrying out the work activity

  • Visit the work area

  • Consult manufacturers instruction/data sheets

  • Review accident/ill-health records

  • Include non-routine operations, such as maintenance, cleaning, waste disposal

2. Determine who might be harmed and how

  • Identify groups of people, for example lab users, cleaners, members of the public

  • Consider persons with particular requirements:

    • young persons
    • people with disabilities
    • new and temporary workers
    • new and expectant mothers
    • contractors
    • lone workers
    • home workers
  • Examples of how persons may be harmed include:

    • physical injuries
    • impacts on mental health (either by exacerbating an existing mental health condition or resulting in an emergent mental health condition, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
    • stress
    • impacts on health (for example by causing disease, illness or other health conditions)

3. Evaluate the risks and implement control measures

  • Determine the level of risk (based on severity and likelihood)

  • Identify control measures to reduce risk as far as reasonably practicable

4. Record only significant findings

  • Required by law

  • Needs to be suitable and sufficient (reflective of the scale of the work being carried out, all significant hazards should be identified and proportional control measures applied to reduce the risk to a tolerable level. Clear and straightforward to understand)

  • Readily accessible to all users

5. Implement control measures

  • Apply hierarchy of control

  • Involve those carrying out the work to ensure precautions will work in practice

6. Regularly review the risk assessment

  • Have there been any significant changes?

  • Are there further improvements to be made?

  • Has a problem been identified?

  • Has anything been learnt from accidents or near misses?

  • Ensure the risk assessment stays up to date

All persons undertaking the work activities must be trained in the content of the risk assessment and this training should be recorded.

Read more about the University risk assessment requirements.

Download the risk assessment safety standard and template

Risk assessment safety standard and template

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