16. Risk Assessment

The School policy on Risk Assessments.


The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 place a general requirement to perform 'suitable and sufficient' risk assessments of the risks to which employees or anyone affected by the undertaking may be exposed. Many other pieces of legislation e.g. the Work at Height Regulations incorporate the legal requirement to carry out specific risk assessments for the tasks to be undertaken.

Most work activities within the School, except trivial ones, are subject to a formal risk assessment process carried out by the H&S staff with the participation of any other persons involved.

Office and common areas within the School are classified low risk areas as the work activities and environment present no significant obvious dangers. Generic risk assessments for these areas are in place and their purpose is to cover similar hazards and activities undertaken throughout the School.

Specific Risk Assessments which are applicable to low risk areas include:

  • DSE/Workstation Risk Assessments are required to be completed by every computer user.
  • Manual Handling Risk Assessments need to be undertaken for any heavy lifting operations. 
  • Lone and Out of Hours Working Risk Assessments are required in circumstances where any potential risks are increased (e.g. expectant mothers, persons with mobility issues or medical conditions).
  • COSHH Risk Assessments are necessary when any hazardous substance to health is to be used.
  • New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessments must be undertaken to cover all hazards to which she may be exposed during her work activity. This assessment must be carried out as soon as her line manager and/or safety adviser is informed about her pregnancy. The risk assessment should be reviewed at regular intervals as the pregnancy develops and any concerns regarding her work activities should be discussed and any appropriate actions and / or additional control measures implemented. Further University Information for new and expectant mothers (pdf)
  • A Young Persons Risk Assessment (those under 17 yrs old) must be carried out  before a young person starts work and must take into account his/her inexperience and immaturity. Training and an adequate level of supervision must be provided by a competent person(s). Additionally, parents / guardians of children (below minimum school leaving age) must receive a copy of the risk assessment in order to be aware of its findings and control measures.

Workshops and research labs are regarded as high risk areas where activities of a hazardous nature are undertaken. There is a range of generic and specific risk assessments which have been carried out for tasks, procedures and equipment with specific significant risks. These assessments must be brought to the attention of anyone who is involved in such a task or who might be affected by it. All risk assessments are available for viewing within the areas concerned.

The School's generic risk assessments and risk assessment forms.

The current specific risk assessments list, which should be read and individually signed off by those involved with each piece of equipment or process before any work is undertaken is linked below.  Copies of the actual assessment can be found in the H+S files of the appropriate lab. or by contacting the Safety Adviser directly.


Reviewed: 26/05/22 dch