Written by: Marie Sandler, HR Director, GradIOSH, NEBOSH


Risk Assessment Steps


1. Who is at Risk

The people at risk are…

  • Employees, other workers, contractors, visitors, customers, members of the public.
  • Including those whose health makes them especially vulnerable.

This second group should not be at work anyway but we also consider where workers have such a person in their family/ household.


2. Reducing Overall Risk

We will minimise numbers at risk by…

  • Considering who is essential to be on site. (Those who can should still work from home.) 
  • Plan the minimum number of people needed on the premises to operate safely and effectively.
  • Provide people with equipment to work from home safely and effectively, for example, remote access to work systems.
  • Give clear guidance on when people should not come to work.
  • Include in assessment those who are ‘clinically vulnerable’ (e.g. expectant mothers) or ‘extremely vulnerable’ (those asked to ‘shield’ because of existing long-term medical conditions, or as a result of treatment received).


3. Control Measures

Our staff will work at home where possible. We will support them by…

  • We will make ‘every reasonable effort’ to enable working from home as a first option. 
  • Consider the mental health and well-being of those who do, especially when (1) their colleagues are working normally and (2) they return after a period of homeworking.

We will maintain social distancing at work by…

  • Where working from home is not possible, we will make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines (keeping people 2m apart wherever possible).
  • This will Include areas where people normally congregate (e.g. canteens, restaurants and similar facilities). 
  • Operate extra entrances/exits and one-way systems. 
  • Place signage and floor markings to remind people what the 2m gaps looks like in practice. 
  • Minimise meetings: where not possible, maintain social distancing and provide sanitiser in meeting rooms. 
  • Minimise visitors: where not possible, advise of other procedures such as handwashing and social distance.

We will put in place extra cleaning/ sanitising, including staff facilities. Specifically, we will…

  • In every workplace, increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning. 
  • Provision of personal sanister, and wipes for each desk.
  • Cleaning Company focusing on high traffic areas including door handles / canteen areas.

We will organise work so as to minimise the risk. In particular…

  • Keep the activity time involved as short as possible. 
  • Use back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible.
  • Reduce the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others).
  • Put increased space between workstations.
  • Avoid shared facilities such as hot desks.

We will use screens and barriers where the 2m rule cannot be met. For example, …

  • Use screens or barriers to separate people from each other.
  • Consider the implementation of ‘sneeze guards’
  • Encourage the use of visors when moving around the office or when directly facing a colleague in conversation

We will use these other measures…

  • Provision of PPE for all employees; disposable face masks, gloves, visors, aprons etc. 

We will communicate…

  • Ensure everyone knows our procedures. 
  • Cover staff (including agency staff), customers, visitors, contractors. 
  • Where we have joint occupancy/shared facilities, collaborate with the other firms involved (Milton Keynes)

Where the above won’t work, we will…

  • If people must work face-to-face for a sustained period with more than a small group of fixed partners, we will decide whether the activity can safely go ahead – taking into consideration current legislation.


4. Implementation

To monitor the effective implementation of our measures, we….

  • Have checked that the precautions set out in our assessment are in line with government and HSE guidance. 
  • Review the steps being taken regularly, and if these are not working, action is needed. 

We will review this assessment to make sure it stays up to date. …

  • Reviewed regularly at the SLT Meetings and by the HSE Coordinator and HR Director. 


5. Sharing our Assessment

We will share our findings by…

  • Consulting our workers as part of the process. 
  • Updating Managers and business stream leads on a regular basis. 
  • As we employee more than 50 people we will also make our assessment public, e.g via our website.