Published 6 Nov 2023
What is a Risk Assessment Template?
A risk assessment template is a tool used to identify and control risks in the workplace. It involves a systematic examination of a workplace and its environment to identify hazards, assess injury severity and likelihood, and implement control measures to reduce risks.
A risk matrix is used to assess the consequence, likelihood, and overall risk rating of a safety hazard. The first measure of the risk matrix, consequences, determines the severity of injuries, while likelihood determines the probability of a person getting injured in the event of hazard exposure. Consequences are categorized as fatality, major or serious injury, minor injury, and negligible injury. For likelihood, the indicators are very likely, likely, unlikely, and highly unlikely. Keep in mind that likelihood doesn’t measure the possibility of hazards but the injuries they can inflict upon a person.
In this article
- What are the 5 Types?
- Importance of Conducting an Assessment
- Top 3 Reasons You Should Perform In-house Operational Risk Assessments
- Creating a Report with Risk Assessment Templates
- Risk Assessment Example
- FAQs About Risk Assessment Templates
- What is SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) and how can it be used for Risk Assessments?
- Featured Risk Assessment Templates
What are the 5 Types?
Risk assessment can be used for different purposes. Depending on the scope and goals of your assessment, you can decide on the following types for the most suitable approach:
1. Qualitative Risk Assessment
This is the most common form of a risk assessment. It is carried out by an experienced assessor, and uses their personal judgement or get the consultation of others in identifying hazards around the workplace, assessing risks, and creating a plan of action to control or reduce the identified risks. In a qualitative risk assessment, the goal is to determine the severity and likelihood of harm of a risk. Risks will then be categorized into levels of high, medium, or low to help the organization prioritize what to address first.
2. Quantitative Risk Assessment
In a quantitative risk assessment, risk level is measured by assigning numerical values. It uses quantitative tools and techniques like the 3 x 3 or 5 x 5 risk matrix. With the risk matrix, values are then calculated using the equation: Risk = Severity x Likelihood. Judgements are then made based on the result of the calculation.
3. Generic Risk Assessment
This type of risk assessment covers the common hazards found in a work task or activity. It is flexible in a sense that it can be widely used in any location, department, or company. The role of a generic risk assessment is to serve as a template to reduce the effort put in duplication in the risk management process. However, do put in mind that every workplace and activity will be slightly different so it is best practice to review and update them accordingly to ensure that its results are accurate and relevant.
4. Site-Specific Risk Assessment
As the name implies, this type of risk assessment is carried out for a specific location. It assesses a specific work task while taking into account the environment and people doing the work in a specific location. A site specific risk assessment can either be qualitative or quantitative or be used with a generic risk assessment template, as long as it is suitable and sufficient in eliminating or controlling risks that may harm people in that location.
5. Dynamic Risk Assessment
A dynamic risk assessment is carried out on the spot when sudden unknown risks arise that can harm your workforce, the business, or the general public. This type of risk assessment is usually used by emergency services, or care workers to gauge whether it is safe to continue, or determine what the best course of action is in dealing with the situation. For dynamic risk assessments, workers need to have the right set of skills and awareness to be able to deal with the danger appropriately.
Importance of Conducting an Assessment
Hazard identification utilizing risk assessment tools ensure a healthy and safe work environment. Conducting risk assessments properly prevents and reduces workplace injuries and, for severe cases, the likelihood of death. It assesses the risks across the entire workplace, unlike a job safety analysis which is job-specific and limited in scope.
In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires businesses to conduct and create a written risk assessment report. Information that needs to be included in the report are persons that can be harmed due to the hazard, protocols set by a company to protect and control risks, further action to keep hazards at bay, person in charge of implementing risk assessments, and schedule of risk assessments. Businesses are required by law to create risk assessment reports as specifically as they can. Guidelines set by HSE can change anytime, so it’s vital to stay updated to avoid problems or overlooked hazards.
Top 3 Reasons You Should Perform In-house Operational Risk Assessments
Operational risk assessments can be outsourced to risk professionals or done internally. While outsourcing can save your team time and effort, performing in-house operational risk assessments can bolster your company’s culture in a number of ways:
#1 Enable workers to be proactive rather than reactive
When improving overall safety in the workplace falls on the shoulders of your workers instead of a contractor, workers are motivated to be more vigilant and careful. A proactive approach to safety pays dividends in the long run since the majority of workplace injuries are actually preventable only if they know the possible risks and how to handle the situation.
#2 Reinforce responsibility and accountability within the company
When workers are obligated to look out for one another’s safety through in-house operational risk assessments, the habit and culture of responsibility and accountability is reinforced. This can then spill over to other aspects of operations, impacting productivity and transparency between employees.
#3 Promote transparency and collaboration against operational risks and beyond
In order to identify, evaluate, and control operational risks, teams need to be open, honest, and transparent with their activities and processes. Only by getting an accurate picture of your day-to-day operations, can effective and realistic risk control measures be implemented.
Creating a Report with Risk Assessment Templates
Creating a risk assessment report can be a daunting task considering life and limb may rely on its implications. By knowing where to start, you can make the process of creating risk assessment reports easier. One of the main things to keep in mind is the format of your report. The format will serve as the outline of the risk assessment.
What is the Correct Format of the Template?
There is not a single risk assessment format that will fit all use cases. Risk assessment templates may vary widely depending on factors such as the nature of operations, its size, and in some cases, specifications set by official governing bodies. Regardless of your risk assessment format, however, the following information should always be present:
- Who is at risk
It is important to specify the demographic that is at risk of an identified hazard. Is it the plant workers? the workers in the assembly line? The engineers? Knowing which party is at risk gives you a good starting point to come up with an effective risk reduction initiative.
- Current control measures
Find out and include what the organization is currently doing to lower the risk of injury for identified demographics.
- Necessary improvement/changes to control measures
After going over the current control measures, come up with ideas on how they can be improved or replaced to further lower the risk of injury for identified demographics.
- Assignments and deadlines
Finally, once decisions have been made to improve and/or replace control measures, include the names of personnel who will be responsible for the updates along with clear deadlines. This simple practice helps improve accountability and diligence.
Writing the Title Page
The title page should include the preliminary details of a risk assessment report. The essential details to include are outlined below:
- Who prepared it?
This could refer to the name of an individual risk assessor, or the company/team working on the risk assessment report. Including this information helps with accountability.
- Who is it for?
This helps ensure that the report reviewer is reading the correct file. Indicating what or who the risk assessment is for aids in evaluating the validity of its contents.
- Done on
The date in which the risk assessment and the report were completed. It should be indicated if the actual assessment and the completion of the report were done on separate dates.
- Review date
This indicates a specific date set for reviewing risk assessment protocols. Time frames may vary, with some choosing to review their risk assessment protocols every six months and others doing it annually. As a general rule, a risk assessment review must be done whenever significant changes are made to operations such as the introduction of a new process, or the acquisition of new machinery and equipment.
Writing the Main Body
The two types of risks are physical, and substance risks. Slips, trips, falls, getting caught in between machinery, and injuries due to falling objects all fall under physical risk. Injuries due to toxic, flammable, and caustic materials are covered under substance risks. You may choose to list these risks separately or in the order in which they were identified.
Here’s a sample basic risk assessment template to help get you started. Download and customize according to your business needs.
Risk Assessment Example
There are multiple ways to record risk assessment reports. Manual risk assessments such as paper-based forms are common but can take too much time. This option is prone to erroneous data input and loss of reports. Digital templates and forms are examples of efficient record-keeping. There are applications that can sync and save all risk assessment reports automatically which eliminates the need to print and the fear of data loss.
Apps such as SafetyCulture offer free templates and forms, here are 3 risk assessment examples:
- Office Risk Assessment Template – This is an all-in-one workplace risk assessment example report. This covers every requirement as set by the HSE and more. The benefit of using this template is that it ensures all details are answered and record-keeping is less of a hassle.
- HSE Risk Assessment – This is a similar risk assessment example report from the previous one but it contains a few sections for the risk matrix which rate consequences and the likelihood of injuries due to hazards.
- COSHH Risk Assessment Form – This is a specific risk assessment example report for COSHH. Utilize this template if hazardous substances are present in the workplace and facility. Using a digital template such as this keeps the work area neat and free from contamination. No need for additional storage for paper-based forms since a tablet is all you need to perform this risk assessment alongside, SafetyCulture.
FAQs About Risk Assessment Templates
Safety officers, risk managers, and decision-makers can use a risk assessment template. Employers should choose those who have the right knowledge and credentials to perform risk assessments on a set schedule or when it is deemed necessary. They also have the option to hire a third-party risk consultant to perform the assessment if no in-house safety officers are available. Ultimately, it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure thorough risk assessments of their equipment, workplace, and tools are performed by competent professionals before operations can start or resume. Learn more about how to perform a risk assessment by reading our guide.
The steps to doing a risk assessment can be summarized into the following 5 steps as follows:
- Identify hazards
- Evaluate the level of risks
- Determine the appropriate controls
- Record and document
- Review the assessment and update if necessary
A general risk assessment template should mainly include the following:
- Description of procedure, task, or worksite being assessed
- Hazards observed and identified
- Task and activity that the hazard is associated to
- Risk rating
- Control measures
What is SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) and how can it be used for Risk Assessments?
SafetyCulture is a mobile-first software that can help organizations keep track of hazards, risks, control measures, and corrective actions. Beyond complying with regulatory authorities, it can also help identify hazard trends and proactively improve workplace safety.
Risk assessment apps and cloud software can provide a more seamless workflow by replacing paper forms, Excel spreadsheets, scanning, and faxing. Use SafetyCulture for your risk assessments and be able to:
- Create and customize risk assessment reports online (no IT skills needed)
- Perform risk assessment using a mobile or tablet device.
- Capture or attach photos, videos, pdfs, and annotations for better context.
- Save all risk assessment reports in secure cloud storage and share them with relevant people via the following format: weblink, PDF, Word, or CSV.—preview a report here.
- Gain insights and data from your risk assessments to pinpoint areas for improvement.
Featured Risk Assessment Templates
Use this template to assess environmental factors that could cause hazards and expose workers to injury. Identify hazards across categories of noise, emissions, odour and structural ground factors. Capture the hazards, assess the risk rating based on the risk matrix and detail suggested control measures to be implemented. Use SafetyCulture on-site with your mobile device to assess environmental hazards.
Use this generic dynamic risk assessment template to capture a variable number of observed hazards. Observe tasks, identify hazards, persons at risk and select the risk rating based on the risk matrix. Select control measures and recommended actions to minimize the risk.
This Risk Matrix Checklist Template can be used to assess a variable number of risks in your business. Use the Risk Matrix chart to identify the severity, likelihood and risk rating before and after implementing control measures. Use the Hierarchy of Controls diagram to select the relevant control category across 1) Elimination, 2) Substitution, 3) Engineering Controls, 4) Administrative Controls or 5) PPE.
Use this construction risk assessment checklist to identify common construction hazards, assess the risk severity and rating and propose control measures. Common hazards included in this template include working at heights, confined spaces, electricity, asbestos, manual handling, noise, lone worker and more. Take photos of risks and create corrective actions to mitigate risks immediately. You may modify this template to suit your construction worksite activities.
This office risk assessment template can be used to identify general at-risk activities in your office environment and help formulate an implementation plan. Use the risk matrix provided to identify the risk rating of the hazard and activities to help you prioritize control measures. Capture photos of the hazards and document any risks that are able to be immediately controlled. This risk assessment form can be modified to suit your office workplace.
This template can be used to perform workplace risk assessments for manufacturing facilities. It covers risk topics such as crushing, electrical, manual handling, slips and falls, cutting and enables the inspector to add more hazards as required. Select only the risks that apply to your manufacturing facility and answer the corresponding risk assessment questions. Use SafetyCulture’s scheduling feature to ensure your team never misses another facility risk assessment again.
A Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) or Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is an effective procedure used to integrate safety protections into a particular task or job operation. The template should be used as a guide to observe and break down jobs into smaller tasks, identify potential hazards for each task and determine preventive measure and controls to overcome hazards. Click here for more JSA template resources and guides. Other similar risk analysis templates include this Qualitative Risk Analysis Template and Quantitative Risk Analysis Template.
Use this template when working at heights to identify potential risks like falling, slipping or tripping. Observe all tasks and activities being conducted, identify hazards and evaluate all control measures such as training, planning and use of PPE. Browse our other templates and guides for working at heights.
This general fire risk assessment template aims to identify and reduce the risk of fire and can be used for any building. It is divided into three sections and firstly covers detailed information about the building and occupants. It focuses on identifying hazards and control measures. Browse our other fire safety templates.
This Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) risk assessment form is used to control exposure to hazardous substances to prevent serious illnesses and health problems. Identify the hazards associated with the activity or work process observed and list the control measures and personal protective equipment to be used when handling these substances. Also, record first aid measures in case of an emergency. Next record means of disposing of hazardous wastes and contaminated containers. Lastly, summarize the report by providing a risk rating after following the control measures. Use SafetyCulture to conduct better risk assessments to reduce or eliminate health hazards. Browse our other hazardous material safety templates.
This free excavation risk assessment checklist can be used before starting excavation or trenching work. Identify all tasks being performed for the day, surrounding environment, and equipment used. Go through to ensure control measures are in place for barriers, walkways, warning systems, entry and exits, and atmosphere controls. Browse for more excavation and trenching safety templates and resources.
This template can be used to perform welding safety and risk assessment checks before commencing welding, cutting and brazing activities. Go through the pre-operation and post-operation checks to ensure compliance with training, PPE, equipment and operator safety checks. Identify any additional hazards and risks as a consequence of identifying any gaps in safety precautions. Create corrective actions immediately while using the SafetyCulture app to ensure control measures are implemented immediately. Look through our other free welding safety checklists.
This risk assessment template includes a risk matrix with consequence and likelihood of hazard injury and hierarchy of controls. Identify hazards involved, select the severity, likelihood and risk rating. Select the appropriate control measure from the hierarchy of controls and provide additional comments and supporting evidence. This template can be easily modified to include additional risk rating criteria appropriate for your workplace.
Use this template to document a risk assessment to manage health and safety hazards in your workplace. Identify observed potential and existing hazards (e.g biological, chemical, energy, environment, etc.), assess the risk level (consequence, likelihood and risk ratings) and provide necessary control measures. Monitor and review planned control measures and advise if further measures are required. Lastly, provide overall recommendations to avoid and manage risk hazards.
This Manual Handling Risk Assessment Template aims to identify hazards when doing manual handling or lifting heavy loads that may cause various musculoskeletal injuries to a worker. Describe the task to be performed, where it is located, load weight and distance, and the personnel involved in the activity. Evaluate the risks while carrying or lifting loads and materials, list down remedial actions and assign authorized people for implementation and review. Use SafetyCulture to capture photo hazards and annotate them to highlight the problems and issues.