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Risk assessments: How little mistakes can lead to big problems

Steve has hit the ground running at Collins McHugh, but we asked him to spare a moment to shed some light on risk assessments and why they’re so important, not only to the safety of your team, but to help protect your bottom line too:


“Risk assessments are (whether they are good or bad or just a pain in the butt) here to stay – they are part of our legislative framework and if done well can save your business £000’s.

How many times have you read in the press that a company has been fined or a director jailed for failing to assess the risks properly? 

A risk assessment in its purest form (and yes, I’ve seen consultants dress this up into huge administrative burdens for companies) is a list of hazards in your workplace on a particular topic such as manual handling or a product. Those hazards are then assessed, and controls are put in place to minimise the potential outcome. In simple terms – stopping workers getting injured!

The legislation requires that all ‘significant’ risks are assessed with a ‘suitable and sufficient’ process for risk assessment by a competent person. However, the way the law is written often confuses employers because of the woolly language used. 

Some examples of legislation requiring risk assessments: 

  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 

  • All significant risks in the workplace 

  • Provision and Use Of Work Equipment Regulations 

  • All machinery and equipment 

  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 

  • All manual handling operations 

  • Workplace Health Safety and Welfare Regulations 

  • Operational and office environments 

  • Lifting Operations Lifting Equipment Regulations 

  • From fork trucks to slings and chains 

And the list goes on.”

At Collins McHugh we can carry out an assurance exercise, review your risk assessments against legislative requirements, and provide a report which may help with insurance renewal costs.

We can provide the latest techniques on risk assessments for your workplace on your forms, or design a new one for you. 

We have over 30 years of experience around risk assessments and even acted as technical witnesses on risk assessments in court.

So don’t be risk averse – get in touch so we can help you get this important process right, train your staff in good practices around understanding risk, and ultimately minimise the potential to cause harm and save your business money.

At Collins McHugh we can help you every step of the way. If you’d like more information, please do get in touch on 0330 223 2965 or email

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