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Why must we do risk assessment?

UCLs Risk Assessment Standard details the arrangements Departments must have in place to ensure that both the process of assessment and the assessments themselves are suitable and sufficient.

Risk assessment is an important step in protecting people in our workplace from harm. In doing this we are complying with the law and more importantly we are ensuring that the likelihood of causing harm is minimised.

The definition of harm at work is usually considered to be injury or ill-health but harm can also be damage to property, equipment or the environment. It could also include damage to reputation either personally or to the group you work with or to UCL in general.

Who is responsible for doing the risk assessment?
A risk assessment must be initiated by the person responsible for the work; that is a Supervisor, Manager or Principal Investigator however the assessment is often a collaborative process involving the people who will be doing the work.
This ensures that they understand why the work is carried out in a specific way. This is important when working with significant hazards or in hazardous areas where any deviation from an agreed procedure could have serious consequences.

What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment is a careful examination of anything in the workplace that could cause harm and a decision about whether there are enough precautions in place.

The factors that must be considered when carrying out an assessment are:

  • the process or work activity;
  • the workplace or environment  where the work is carried out including unrelated activities going on in the area;
  • the people who are directly or indirectly affected.

Nearly all new projects or work activities will have elements in common with those already in existence. Break down the activities and tasks into their component parts, note what precautions are already in place and who is involved then you are on the way to creating a risk assessment.

Now complete step 1 of the risk assessment procedure using the tabs at the top of this page.




The law


RiskNET Risk Assessment Tool

Risk assessment form

Risk Assessment Workshop

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Frequently asked questions



Risk Assessment

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