Make use of the Risk Assessment Matrix, Appendix 3 to record the risk assessment for an activity under consideration.
In the column headed Hazard, list the hazards that have been identified associated with the activity. For example, if the use of an electric lawn mower is being considered, hazards may include electric shock by cutting the cable, severe cuts to fingers by contact with moving blades, eye injury as a result of being struck by flying stones.
In the column headed Task, note the activity. In the case of the lawn mower, these may include cutting the grass and cleaning the equipment.
In the column headed Who at Risk, write the people or type of people who are at risk during each task or activity. In the case of the use of the lawn mower, this will be the person operating the lawn mower, but may also include bystanders. In other activities those at risk may be everyone in a building (if, for example, fire is being considered).
In the column headed Current Controls, write the relevant safety measures that are currently in place for each task. In the case of the electric lawn mower, this may include the use of a residual current device (RCD) to reduce the likelihood of electrocution.
In the columns headed Consequence and Likelihood, use the guidance given in Appendix 2 to give an assessment of a numerical rating for each task. For example, the consequence of electrical contact is very high, potentially fatal, has a rating of 5 on a scale of 1-5. However, with a RCD fitted, the likelihood is improbable, a rating of 1 on a scale of 1-5.
The product of the number in the cells of the Consequence and Likelihood columns (see Appendix 2) should be written into the column headed Rating. A rating in the range 15-25 indicates the current control measures are inadequate, the task must not be carried until appropriate measures are put in place in order to reduce the risk of harm. Ratings in the range 8-12 indicate that there is a need to improve the control measure. ratings in the range 1-6 indicate the measures which are currently in place are sufficient to control the risk, no further action, other than ensuring the measures are maintained, is required.
Where, in section 17 above, a need to further counter measures has been identified, these will be listed in the column headed Action Required. It is imperative that these actions are genuinely put in place, and not merely written as a proposal.
In the columns headed New Consequence and New Likelihood, use the guidance given in Appendix 2 to give an assessment of a numerical rating for each task based on the new countermeasures, as stated in Actions Required, being in place.
The product of the number in the cells of the New Consequence and New Likelihood columns (see Appendix 2) should be written into the column headed New Rating. The objective is that the selected countermeasures will give rise to a new rating in the range 1-6, which is considered to be level at which no further action is required. It is imperative that the stated actions are genuinely put in place, and not mealy written as a proposal. Appropriate supervision needs to be in place to ensure this is so.