The act of 'Risk Assessment' is not the form-filling but the work that has been done by thinking things through!
So far, we've done the most important parts of the Risk Assessment, including identifying the hazards and thinking about how these could affect people. We've also looked at what's being done to protect people from harm and what other things we could do (if required) to further protect people. We've actually done the hard work without setting pen to paper!
This section only applies if there are five or more employees. Having said that, it's always worth keeping a record of the findings of a Risk Assessment as it can be a useful reference for the future. ChurchSafety recommends that the significant findings of all assessments are recorded for this reason.
There is no set format for the way in which the assessment findings should be put down in writing, but there are a number of forms available as an aid. ChurchSafety produce a simple form which is designed to follow the process on this Website, which can be found on our Downloads page.
We suggest that records are kept on computer as this makes them easier to modify and update. There's often no need to print out documents, so long as they can be retrieved easily if they are needed. However, paper copies are useful for quick reference and can easily be written on and modified. After all, for Risk Assessment to be of value and not mere administration, it should be useful to the organisation.
What is significant?
A significant hazard would be something that creates an actual risk to the safety or health of people where a reasonable person would take action to prevent harm to people. Trivial issues don't need to be recorded, neither do those that are associated with normal daily life.
It's easy to get bogged down with recording Risk Assessments and to add many items of insignificance to the list. However, this is often at the expense of correctly and thoroughly considering those things that cause an actual risk to people. Often this is why Risk Assessment goes wrong: too much time is spent filling in forms that consider only minor issues so bad decisions are made.
What needs to be recorded?
The following, as a minimum, should be written down:
- What are the hazards?
- What is being done to control them?
- What additional measures are needed?
- Who is at risk?
Paper or Electronic?
We often suggest that an efficient way to record Risk Assessments is to use a computer. The reason is that it makes life easier to edit the document and modify the record in future. Sometimes, the assessment can remain as an electronic document and not printed, so long as it can be retrieved easily when it is needed.
The aim of Risk Assessment is not to create reams of paper in pristine condition, filed away and never looked at, but rather be a useful addition to the organisation. If a document is regularly reviewed, the assessment is achieving that goal.
Previous stage: Determine what is being done and decide if it is enough
Next stage: Review and revise the assessment
Back to Risk Assessment