MEL Health and Safety Consultants

Risk Assessments

Risk Assessments

The term "risk assessment" has become very common in the UK, but what does it really mean?  How do we know if our assessments cover all the significant risks, or if they contain enough detail?  If you have ever wondered any of these things you are definitely not alone, risk assessments have become such a crucial part of modern safety management but for many people they still remain confusing and ambiguous.  Perhaps it is best to start with a brief bit of background information on the subject of risk assessments.


When you understand why we perform risk assessments they actually make a lot of sense.  Initially legislation was prescriptive and was very clear in what it required companies to do.  There could be little argument as all organisations were required to manage their activities in an identical manner, at set intervals and with very definitive methods.

It became apparent that this approach was failing some organisations and the lack of flexibility meant that individual approaches to problem solving were almost impossible.  A firm that used a piece of equipment once a year in a converted garage workshop was required to act as another that had fifty running 24 hours per day in three warehouses across the country.  A self-employed carpenter was required to adopt the same procedures as  a large construction company employing over one thousand operatives simultaneously.  A different approach was required to allow for individual differences to be taken into account, one that could be easily adapted for any organisation but still contained enough detail to use as a starting point. 

A more sensible model would be to set a standard, provide a variety of ways to conform with those standards and then allow each individual company to find their own way to control risk.  This system may sound familiar to you as it is the one that currently operates in the UK today, a system whereby each individual company can assess the risks encountered by their particular organisation before deciding the degree of control required to minimise each risk to the lowest possible level.

M.E.L. have a great deal of experience in preparing and assessing risk assessments and can provide your organisation with expert analysis on the hazards encountered in your workplace and the remedial actions required to prevent accidents.  We can also review your existing assessments to make sure that they contain suitable and sufficient detail and that they cover all the necessary points, adding any detail necessary to bring them up to an acceptable standard and providing advice on how they can best be communicated and enforced.

We can also provide training for your staff to help them carry out your own risk assessments.  Our specialist courses will enable your managerial staff to formulate suitable and sufficient assessments and give them the confidence to review those provided to your company by those whose services you employ.

For more information please contact a member of our expert consultancy team on 01708 555544.