Risk Assessments

The duties contained within the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations are general and all encompassing in order to cover the large number of business types to which they apply. As a result a number of the requirements detailed here may be duplicated in regulations discussed later where the duty of the employer or employees is more specific.

The main requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations are:

Risk Assessments

Every employer and self-employed person is required to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the health and safety risks to employees and others not in his employment, to which his undertakings give rise, in order to put in place appropriate control measures. If five or more are employed the assessment must be recorded. The assessments should be reviewed as appropriate.

Examples of Risk Assessments can be found on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Arrangements to Cover Health and Safety

Suitable arrangements must be made to allow the effective implementation of health and safety matters.

An employer is required to either ensure that they have sufficient expertise to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation or appoint a competent person to assist in ensuring compliance with health and safety legislation. In order to ensure compliance with this requirement it may be necessary for the employer to undergo health and safety training. This will ensure that their level of knowledge is adequate to effectively implement safety measures. Alternatively advice may be sought from an independent consultant, adviser or the Local Authority's Environmental Health Service.

Health Surveillance

When carrying out risk assessments areas may be identified where it may be necessary to carry out health surveillance to ensure the health and safety of employees. The primary benefit and objective of health surveillance is to detect adverse health effects at an early stage thereby enabling further harm to be prevented. This requirement is dealt with in more detail in specific regulations, for example:

  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH)
  • The Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations (as amended)
  • The Control of Lead at Work Regulations

Dangerous Situations

In the case where employees may be exposed to serious or imminent danger the employer must:

  • Establish the necessary procedures to be followed in the event of danger
  • Nominate competent persons to put these procedures into place
  • Ensure employees with access to dangerous areas are suitably trained

An example of this requirement is a fire evacuation procedure with nominated fire marshal(s) in every premise.


  1. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (LEGUK)
  2. L 21: Management of Health and Safety at Work - Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations - Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (HSC)
  3. HSG 61: Health Surveillance at Work (HSE)
  4. HSG 65: Successful Health and Safety Management (HSE)
  5. HSG 122: New and Expectant Mothers at Work - A Guide for Employers (HSE)
  6. HSG 154: Managing Crowds Safely - A Guide for Organisers at Events and Venues (HSE)
  7. HSG 165: Young People at Work - A Guide for Employers Publisher (HSE)
  8. HSG 179: Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools (HSC)
  9. HS(G)183: Steps to Risk Assessment - Case Studies (HSE)
  10. HSG 188: Health Risks Management - A Guide to Working with Solvents (HSE)
  11. HSG 222: Effective Health and Safety Training: A Trainer's Resource Pack (HSE)
  12. HSG 229: Work Related Violence: Managing the Risk in Smaller Businesses (HSE)
  13. HSG 281: Tackling Work Related Stress - A Manager's Guide to Improving and Maintaining Employee Health and Well-Being (HSE)
  14. INDG 69: Violence at Work - A Guide for Employers (HSE)
  15. INDG 73: Working Alone in Safety - Controlling the Risks of Solitary Work (HSE)
  16. INDG 163: Five Steps to Risk Assessment (HSE)
  17. INDG 213: 5 Steps to Information, Instruction and Training (HSE)
  18. INDG 218: A Guide to Risk Assessment Requirements - Common Provisions in Health and Safety Law (HSE)
  19. INDG 232: Consulting Employees on Health and Safety: A Guide to the Law (HSE)
  20. INDG 259: An Introduction to Health and Safety - Health and Safety in Small Firms (HSE)
  21. INDG 275: Managing Health and Safety - Five Steps to Success (HSE)
  22. INDG 281: Work-Related Stress - A Short Guide (HSE)
  23. INDG 341: Tackling Work-Related Stress - A Guide for Employees (HSE)
  24. INDG 343: Directors' Responsibilities for Health and Safety (HSC)
  25. INDG 345: Health and Safety Training: What You Need to Know (HSE)
  26. INDG 364: The Right Start - Work Experience for Young People - Health and Safety Basics for Employers (HSE)