Risk assessment is one of the most essential and primary risk management tools imperative in ensuring the health and safety of the workers and other members of the workforce. Many people, including owners of small-scale industries and their employees, might not be aware that risk assessment is a necessary legal requirement not just for organisations but also for a few self-employed individuals.

What is Risk Assessment?

Risk assessment is a detailed and systematic process of identifying risks and evaluating any associated hazards within a workplace or industrial setup. It not just includes an in-depth analysis of risk but implementing the appropriate measures to eliminate the risk completely or at least reduce its impact also comes under risk assessment.

 The risk assessment must be performed by professionals in order to conduct the process precisely and in the right way without missing out on anything. Accurate risk assessment is important as any error in determining the operational risk or any other kind of risk might lead to life-threatening dangers for the employees and workers. Along with the loss of skilled workers, such mishappenings can also cease the operations of an organisation, invite legal troubles and disrupt the market reputation of the organisation.

These are the terms which need to be clearly defined or known before conducting the risk assessment process:

  • Accident: An accident is described as an unplanned event which most certainly might result in a loss.
  • Hazard: Anything that has the potential to cause harm or work as an obstacle in the normal functioning of the organisation’s operation might be categorised as a hazard.
  • Risk: The result of a hazard might be recognised as a risk. It could be anything, injury, health, damage, loss, etc.

Risk assessment processes might vary from industry to industry and they must be sufficiently detailed, approximately estimating and stating every possible hazard in order to serve its purpose and benefit the organisation, protecting it from potential losses.

How should a risk assessment be carried out?

Insurance brokers and providers hire qualified professionals to conduct the risk assessment process in order to avoid mistakes that might have disastrous consequences. Usually, these are the steps followed to ensure that the process is suitably comprehensive and helps conduct the right analysis:

  • Identifying and making note of the potential hazards
  • Determining who might get affected by these hazards
  • Evaluating the severity and probability of the identified hazards and stating the suitable precaution for the same
  • Implementing the controls and precisely recording the findings
  • Conducting a review of the assessment and re-assessing the risks if required
1.   Identifying the potential hazards

It is imperative to identify the potential hazards within a workplace which might cause harm to anyone coming in contact with them. These hazards are not always easily recognisable or obvious. Therefore, these steps should be followed to identify them:

  • Observing your workplace and its surroundings to find out which activities, processes or substances used could cause harm to the workers and employees.
  • Going through past accidents and ill-health records as they might help in identifying the prevailing and less obvious hazards.
  • Checking the data sheets, information and guidance as suggested by the manufacturer or suppliers of the machinery or other tools.
  • Interrogating and consulting with the workers and employees who deal with tasks, processes and machine work of the company.

The identified hazards might also be categorised under five heads, physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic and psychological.

2.   Determining who might get affected by these hazards

Along with identifying who all might be affected by these hazards, the severity of the effect must also be determined and how it would harm the identified individuals, through direct contact or indirect contact. These individuals might not necessarily be recognised by their name but could be identified under groups such as employees, contractors, etc.

The risk and severity of the hazard might also differ from one group to another. Therefore, the concerned parties must be made aware of the possible impact it could have on them so that they might prepare accordingly.

3.   Evaluating the severity of the risk and stating the appropriate precautions

After identifying the hazards and their effects, establishing “reasonably practicable” precautions is important. These precautions are stated keeping in mind and evaluating the following factors:

  • The probability of the occurrence of the hazard
  • The severity of harm that the hazard might cause and under what conditions
  • Researching and knowing about eliminating, controlling or reducing the impact of the hazard
  • Availability of control measures designed and required to control the hazard and eliminate the risks
  • Costs of the available control measures or mechanism required to suppress the possibility of the hazard

Assessing the severity of risk also requires an evaluation of the hazards’ likelihood and the substantial consequences it may cause. There are certain factors which might affect this evaluation:

  • Duration and frequency of the exposure to the particular hazard
  • The number of persons affected by the hazard
  • Competence of those exposed to the hazard
  • Types of equipment required
  • Availability of first-aid provision, emergency support and its mechanism
4.   Implementing the controls and precisely recording the findings

By implementing the changes and necessary precautions the probability of the risk might decrease potentially. The findings of the analysis must be recorded in order to keep the involved individuals aware of the entire situation. Recordings also make future analysis easy. The easiest way to record these findings is a risk assessment form which includes the information divided under the following heads:

  • Hazards founds
  • Group(s) or Person(s) to be affected
  • The controls implemented to manage the hazard and individuals or groups assigned to manage them
  • By whom was the assessment carried
  • On what date did the assessment take place
5.   Reviewing the assessment and re-assessing if necessary

The assessment should be periodically reviewed by the employers as a part of their risk and claims management processes. If necessary the risks should be re-assessed too in case there is any change in the workplace, a health hazard or illness is suspected, etc.


Risk assessment does not necessarily have to involve an enormous amount of paperwork. As long as it provides the relevant information, filling up a detailed risk assessment form is enough. Also, there is no specific amount of time for which the risk assessment must be retained but it is recommended to consider it only till it is relevant to the tasks and operations of an organisation.

Contact Deinon Insurance Brokers LLC at infra-energy@deinon.ae for the best insurance solutions.

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