Environmental Risk Assessment Templates

Streamline your EMS reporting processes using paperless risk assessments on your mobile device

Published May 14th, 2021

What is an Environmental Risk Assessment?

An environmental risk assessment identifies the environmental hazards caused by a business and determines their effects on various aspects of the environment such as living organisms, natural habitats, and ecosystems. Performing an environmental risk assessment also helps a business conform with environmental policies and regulations.

This article will discuss the following:

We feature 4 of the best environmental risk assessment templates you can download for free and customize based on your business needs. Perform more effective environmental risk assessments on-site. Spend less time recording risks and more time fixing them.

Importance of Performing Environmental Risk Assessments

Mining, manufacturing, and construction industries are the main contributors to water, air, and soil pollution. Key contributing activities include improper disposal of chemicals, heavy usage of air polluting equipment and machinery, asbestos handling, soil contamination, and industrial noise.

Employers should carry out thorough risk assessments and inspections to develop a good Environmental Management System (EMS) and ensure that businesses operate without any contributing factors that may cause harm to the environment.

How is Risk Assessment Used in Environmental Decision Making?

Environmental decision making is the process of implementing changes based on the risks identified in environmental risk assessment. Though environmental decision making is often used to refer to the act of creating and/or enforcing environmental laws, the term also applies to actions taken by a business to lessen their environmental impact. 

Here are examples of how risk assessment is used in environmental decision making, based on a publication by the European Environment Agency and adapted to fit a business use-case:

  • Determine acceptable levels of risk to identify which areas of business operations need the most regulation. Regulation in this context can include adding more enforcers (employees who have been tasked to enforce certain rules or practices) or safeguards against going beyond acceptable levels of risk (such as a notification system when a limit is reached).
  • Differentiate environmental risks of tasks, teams, offices, or departments. Environmental risks are unlikely to be the same for the entire business, especially across sites. Performing environmental risk assessments would help the business form specialized strategies for different types of environmental risk.

6 Steps to an Effective Environmental Risk Assessment

An environmental risk assessment template is used by risk managers and policymakers to document non-conformance and potential environmental hazards caused by the business.

Here are 6 steps to help you perform an effective Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA):

  • Step 1: Problem Formulation – the most critical step where risk managers define the scope of an ERA by identifying what needs to be protected from harm
  • Step 2: Hazard Characterization – examining the potential environmental hazards present in the workplace or site
  • Step 3: Exposure Characterization – identifying what and who is at risk
  • Step 4: Risk Characterization – combining hazard and exposure characterization results and then assessing the risk
  • Step 5: Documentation – recording the results of the assessment and implementing precautions
  • Step 6: Monitoring – reviewing the assessment at regular intervals

Using Technology to Improve Environmental Risk Assessments

Performing an ERA can be a cumbersome process requiring significant documentation and on-site gathering of evidence. This is where technology and modern mobile applications can assist.

iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a powerful form building app that converts your risk assessment forms into mobile inspection applications. iAuditor’s intuitive system enables assessors to do the following:

  • capture high-quality data including photo evidence faster and easier;
  • automate notifications set according to predetermined risk thresholds in order to proactively address environmental risks;
  • instantly generate detailed reports on-site and automate recordkeeping; and
  • synchronize iAuditor with other monitoring tools such as sensors for remote automated monitoring of environmental hazards.

To save you time, we have built these environmental risk assessment templates you can download immediately to start using. All templates are 100% customizable – no programming skills required. iAuditor is free to use for small teams and offers advanced features for premium subscriptions – view pricing and features.

SafetyCulture staff writer

Jona Tarlengco

Jona has been part of SafetyCulture for more than 2 years contributing her experience in writing quality and well-researched content. She usually writes a topic about risks, safety, and quality.

Jona has been part of SafetyCulture for more than 2 years contributing her experience in writing quality and well-researched content. She usually writes a topic about risks, safety, and quality.

SafetyCulture staff writer

Jona Tarlengco

Jona has been part of SafetyCulture for more than 2 years contributing her experience in writing quality and well-researched content. She usually writes a topic about risks, safety, and quality.

Jona has been part of SafetyCulture for more than 2 years contributing her experience in writing quality and well-researched content. She usually writes a topic about risks, safety, and quality.