Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Health and Safety

Risk Assessment

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Risk Assessment

The University, as an employer, is legally required to assess the significant risks in the workplace so that plans can be made to control those risks. Risk assessments are therefore an important step in protecting the health and safety of staff, students and visitors, as well as being a legal requirement (The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and other relevant statutory provisions). They help people focus on the risks that really matter in the workplace,  and in many instances, straightforward measures can readily control risks, for example ensuring spillages are cleaned up promptly so people do not slip.

For most, that means simple, cheap and effective measures to ensure that the most valuable asset, the workforce, is protected. The law does not expect all risk to be eliminated, but the University is required to protect people at work, as “far as reasonably practicable”. The University guidance note; Guidance on risk assessment, tells people how to achieve that with a minimum of fuss.

The recommended risk assessment method contained in the guidance is not the only way to do a risk assessment. There are other methods that work well, particularly for more complex risks and circumstances. However, the method outlined in the guidance is straightforward, easy to follow and it is strongly recommended that it is used.

A risk assessment is defined as a careful examination of what, in the workplace, could cause harm to people, so that the assessor can weigh up whether they have taken enough precautions or, they should do more to prevent harm. Workers and others have a right to be protected from harm caused by a failure to take reasonable control measures.

Accidents and ill health can affect the business of the University e.g. if important research is disturbed or delayed, machinery damaged, insurance costs increase or fines  are imposed as a result of a prosecution.

Schools and Professional Support Services complete risk assessments internally, with input from the relevant School Safety Officers / Departmental Safety Officers  when required, or, where specialist input is needed, the University Health and Safety Service. Specific risk assessments are required under certain separate pieces of legislation e.g. the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 or the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. Risk assessment methodology for these specific pieces of legislation, are dealt with separately by University policies and guidance.

 

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