It must be remembered that the completion of the Risk Assessment does not have to be completed by a trained Safety Officer! The Risk Assessment is a statement of common sense to prove that someone has "walked through" the event being planned to see what could go wrong, how badly it could go wrong and to identify who might get injured and how badly. Then to put control measures in place to prevent, as far as is reasonably possible, something happening that could hurt people. Its as simple as that!
Risk is a term defining the probability of something happening during an activity. A written assessment is necessary to show how much the organisers have looked into this probability, which would be accepted to mean that there will be less risk during the activity. This is necessary by law and is intended to protect those participating in the activity. These typically are Rotarians and the general public.
What is a Hazard: Anything with potential to cause harm.
What is a Risk: The quantification of the likely hood of Hazard to cause harm and its severity?
The aim of the Risk Assessment is to identify the nature of the potential problem
Assessment before, during and after an activity or event in order to ensure it is safe.
The risk of accidents or injury resulting from unfamiliar premises.
The risk of accidents or injury resulting from failure to make adequate plans in advance.
The risk of accidents or injury because of lack of manpower to manage event.
Risk of failure of any equipment.
The risk of accidental injury resulting from careless actions of other people.
Typical results and effects of non-compliance
An avoidable accident of any type resulting in injury or loss because no one recognised risk.
Investigation by insurers with possible reduction or loss of insurance cover.
Investigation after an incident by HSE or Fire Authority depending on nature of incident.
Possible litigation against individuals or organising Club/District
Negative PR that may damage future events.
Known instances at Rotary events
Kids Out with no communication plans in place. One child taken ill. No one could contact other members of party. Risk assessment under health and safety and in compliance with Club Protection Policy should have foreseen the potential risk and put suitable procedures in place.
What needs to be done?
Prior to the event, organisers must appoint one person to carry out risk assessment.
Person appointed must seek out expertise where so required and if in doubt about any matter.
Assessment carried out and recorded in writing with copies to all involved in running event.
Use the Template Risk Assessment to record your findings.
Assessments should be concise, address real issues and should not centre on minor issues.
Identify risks, decide how risk can be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable safe level.
Categorise risks based on chances of it occurring and degree of impact by way of severity of injury.
Review at club council after event and retain record with any corrections for next event.
The Risk Assessment is a 5-Step process.
Step 1 Identify the hazards
Step 2 Decide who might be harmed and how
Step 3 Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions(control measures)
Step 4 Record your findings and implement them
Step 5 Review your assessment and update if necessary
Note: In Step 3 one must ask them selves if the "control measure" to be put in place is robust enough to mitigate the hazard to its minimum.
It is also very easy to go overboard. The acid test is to ask yourself if your Risk Assessment is
To assist you in recording your findings a pro forma Risk Assessment template and guidance information are available here..
IT IS VITAL THAT THE RISK ASSESMENT IS CARRIED OUT IN THE PLANNING STAGE AND BEFORE THE EVENT BEING PLANNED OCCURS AND FORWARDED TO THE DISTRICT HEALTH & SAFETY ADVISER FOR COMMENT AND/OR FILLING. NOT AFTER AN INCIDENT HAS OCCURRED!
The Risk Assessment is your first line of defence in the event of litigation.
District 1180 Safety Advisor
Mike Lade, RC of Vale of Llagollen