A Comprehensive Guide to Risk Assessment

A Comprehensive Guide to Risk Assessment

When it comes to running a business, it’s important to ensure the safety and well-being of your employees. That’s why it’s important to know how to perform a risk assessment. Through this process, you can identify, assess and control potential hazards in the workplace. But what exactly is risk assessment, and why is it so important? In this article, we will discuss what risk assessments are and how you can perform them effectively in your business. We’ll also take a look at the different types of risk assessments and the steps in performing a risk assessment for your business.


What is a Risk Assessment?

A risk assessment is a process that involves identifying, assessing, and controlling potential hazards in the workplace. By identifying potential risks, businesses can take steps to mitigate them and protect their employees.

There are a variety of risk assessments that businesses can conduct, depending on the industry and type of business. Some common risk assessments include fire risk assessments, health and safety risk assessments, and security risk assessments.


Why is Risk Assessment Important?

Risk assessment is important because it helps businesses to identify potential hazards in the workplace and take steps to mitigate them. By conducting risk assessments, businesses can ensure the safety of their employees and avoid potential accidents or injuries.

In addition, risk assessment can also help businesses to save money. By identifying potential risks early on, businesses can avoid costly accidents or injuries. Risk assessments can also help businesses to develop contingency plans in case of an accident or emergency.


When to Perform a Risk Assessment?

Apart from complying with legislative requirements, risk assessment aims to pinpoint, mitigate, and eliminate operational risks in the workplace. This can only be achieved by conducting risk assessments regularly.

It is the responsibility of employers to perform risk assessments when:

  • New steps or processes are introduced in the company’s workflow;
  • Changes or adjustments are made to the existing processes
  • Tools, equipment, and new hazards arise in the workplace;


Auditors also perform risk assessments when planning an audit procedure for a company. At the same time, risk assessment is a continuous process that should be performed on an ongoing basis to ensure the safety of employees.


Risk Assessment Vs. Job Safety Analysis (JSA): What’s the Difference?

Risk assessments are usually confused with job safety analysis (JSA). Although risk assessment and JSA are important tools for ensuring workplace safety, there are some key differences between the two.

Risk assessments are conducted to identify potential hazards in the workplace, while JSAs are conducted to analyze a specific job or task. They are conducted regularly to ensure the safety of employees, while JSAs are only conducted when there are changes to a job or task.

Risk assessments are conducted by businesses to ensure the safety of their employees, while workers conduct JSAs to ensure their safety. It’s clear that JSAs focus on job-specific risks, while risk assessments focus on risks present in the workplace as a whole.


3 Types of Risk Assessment

There are three types of risk assessments: large scale, required specific, and general assessments:


Large Scale Assessments

This type of risk assessment refers to the risks performed for large-scale projects that have the potential to impact public safety. Large-scale risk assessments are usually required by regulatory agencies such as OSHA or EPA.

Large-scale assessments also require using an advanced risk assessment technique called ‘Quantitative Risks Assessment (QRA).’


Required Specific Assessments

This type of risk assessment refers to assessments required under specific regulations or legislation, such as the handling of hazardous substances and manual handling. 


General Assessments

Businesses conduct this type of risk assessment on a voluntary basis by businesses to identify potential hazards in the workplace. It manages general workplace risks and is a requirement under the legal health management and safety administrations such as HSE and OSHA.


Performing an Effective Risk Assessment

Now that we know what risk assessments are and why they’re important, let’s look at how to perform an effective risk assessment. There are five steps to performing an effective risk assessment:

  • Identify Hazards: The first step is to identify potential hazards in the workplace. This can be done by conducting a walk-through of the workplace, observing work processes, and talking to employees.
  • Evaluate the Risks:  The next step is to evaluate the risks associated with each hazard. This includes assessing the severity of the risk and the likelihood of it occurring. Using a risk matrix can help measure the level of risk per hazard by considering certain factors such as the severity of potential injuries and likelihood of occurrence.
  • Determine Risk Control Measures: Once the risks have been evaluated, it’s time to determine what risk control measures need to be put in place to mitigate the risks. This includes both administrative controls (policies and procedures) and physical controls (equipment and safety devices). You can follow the hierarchy of controls to learn how to prioritize the implementation of proper controls to contain a potential risk or hazard.
  • Document Your Findings: It’s essential to keep a formal record of risk assessments to ensure that they’re being conducted regularly and risk control measures are being properly implemented.
  • Monitor and Review: The final step is to monitor and review risk assessments regularly. This ensures that they’re being conducted properly and that risk control measures are effective.


Conduct Risk Assessment with the DataMyte Digital Clipboard

Many processes and factors can come into play when conducting a risk assessment. It’s a lengthy process as the assessment will likely go through multiple hands for reviewing and completion. In turn, it can open the entire risk assessment procedure to issues like losing track of documents and records. Fortunately, you can mitigate that with the DataMyte Digital Clipboard.

The DataMyte Digital Clipboard will make it easy for you to have all the tools you need to create a risk assessment workflow in one place. With this digital clipboard, you’ll be able to create a five-step risk assessment workflow just like the one we outlined above. 

You can add, remove, and rearrange risk assessment steps as you see fit using an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. Once you’re happy with your workflow, you can save and share it with your risk assessment team so that they will have proper guidelines on how to conduct risk assessments, inspections, and audits. 

Book a demo today and see how DATAMYTE can help you with risk assessments and more!



Risk assessments are important for businesses to identify potential hazards in the workplace. However, risk assessments can be a lengthy and complicated process. This guide gives you all the information you need to understand risk assessments and how to perform them effectively. Additionally, the DataMyte Digital Clipboard can help make risk assessments easier by having all of the risk assessment tools in one place. Get started today!



Related Articles: