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School of Physics Safety Manual


The proper assessment of risks and the implementation of suitable precautions to reduce those risks is the basis of most health and safety regulations. Risk assessment is required by all safety regulations (e.g. Management of Health and Safety at Work Act, Manual Handling regulations, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, etc) such that employers are required to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of:

  • the risks to the health and safety of their employees to which they are exposed while at work, and
  • the risks to the health and safety of persons not in their employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by the employers or of their undertaking

A hazard is something which has the potential to cause harm to people, or damage to equipment, buildings or the environment. A risk is a function of the likelihood of that harm or damage actually occurring and the severity of its consequences.

A Risk Assessment must consider:

  • What is the hazard?
  • What could go wrong?
  • Where is there likely to be a problem?
  • Who might be hurt?
  • Why might it happen?
  • When could it happen?
  • How could all this be avoided?

Risk assessments must be reviewed periodically, and following any changes to procedures etc.

The School Safety Group will review selected risk assessments to assure that hazards have been properly identified and the appropriate control measures are in place to minimise risk.


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