What is a risk assessment?

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What is Risk management?

Part of your legal duty as an employer is to maintain a safe working environment. A risk management system in your workplace can help you achieve this. Risk management involves conducting hazard identification and risk assessment, and implementing, monitoring and reviewing control measures to reduce risks to the health and safety of workers, contractors and visitors.

Risk Management is necessary to:

Systematically identify hazards in your workplace that could create health and safety risks; and

Take reasonably practicable steps to control the risks and monitor the effectiveness of the control measures.

What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is the second step in the risk management process. Once you have identified hazards in your workplace, you must conduct a risk assessment for each hazard to determine:

How likely it is that exposure to that hazard will cause harm; and

The severity of harm that is likely to result.

Risk assessments help to determine which hazards require the most urgent attention, and the need to introduce control measures to eliminate or reduce any risk arising from those hazards. Risk assessments are not rigid processes and may be undertaken in different ways. For example, a risk assessment may:

Be carried out by an individual or a group;

Be conducted over a number of days;

Consider whole tasks or the individual steps involved in a task; or

Address whole systems in the workplace, e.g. the ventilation system.


The risk assessment ratings matrix can help you to establish a risk rating for each of the hazards you have identified in your workplace.

Risk = Likelihood (frequency) × Consequence (seriousness)