Risk assessment is a fundamental element of health and safety management. Not only is it a legal requirement, but without it, how can you be sure your workplace is safe and compliant?
Whether you’re looking for a full health and safety audit or a task-specific risk assessment, our experts can take a systematic look at your premises and practices and work with you to ensure safety and compliance.
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How we help
Identify issues, maintain high safety standards
Risk assessment comes in many forms. If you’re not confident in your current safety management system, you may need a full intensive health and safety audit to check everything is in place and working the way it should.
Alternatively, you might need a more specific assessment of a particular activity or piece of equipment or just need support keeping your risk assessments up to date.
- An element of our fixed-fee Health & Safety support
- Get an on-site audit of your working environment in the form of a General Risk Assessment
- Help formulating assessments for specific risk areas such as DSE, manual handling, COSHH and fire safety
- Build your own assessments and checks, assign responsibilities and monitor actions with our award-winning Health & Safety Software
- Unlimited advice and guidance from a named Health & Safety specialist to keep you compliant
Meaningful risk assessment tailored to you
With the HSE more rigorously pursuing enforcement action against those found to be in material breach of health and safety law, ensuring risk is appropriately managed is crucial to avoiding significant financial penalties and damage to your reputation.
Rather than relying on generic risk assessment templates, with support from a qualified professional, you can ensure your risk assessments reflect your specific activities, the particular risks present within your workplace and the controls you have in place. That way, you can reduce the risk of injury and ill health, demonstrate compliance and stand up to regulator scrutiny.
"Ellis Whittam has been very helpful in explaining the parts of the risk assessments I don't fully understand and that has enabled me to feel confident all of our risk assessments are of the right standard."
Common risk assessment queries and questions about our service, answered by our Health & Safety specialists.
Is a risk assessment a legal requirement?
Yes. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, all employers, regardless of size or sector, must undertake a “suitable and sufficient” assessment of the health and safety of risks their employees are exposed to while at work, as well as the risks to any non-employees (customers, visitors, contractors, etc.) who may be affected by their activities. If you employ five or more employees, it is a legal requirement to keep a written record of your assessment and significant findings. If you’re not sure where to begin with risk assessment, we can help you.
Can you do risk assessments for particular pieces of machinery?
If, for example, the audit we’ve conducted for you (or that you’ve conducted yourself) has revealed a number of items of machinery that you haven’t completed risk assessments on, we could support you with this as an additional piece of work outside of our core service. The same applies to risk assessments for lots of hazardous substances, or a large workplace with interactions between moving vehicles and pedestrians. In these cases, we can discuss this as an additional fee, or you can download and modify a particular risk assessment from our Knowledge Hub (included as part of our core Health & Safety service), which we will then review for you free of charge.
What’s the difference between a health and safety audit and a General Risk Assessment?
A health and safety audit is a thorough appraisal of your safety management system, normally conducted by an external health and safety professional as an independent assessment of compliance. It will reveal any areas where you are exposed, such as a missing safe system of work or an uncontrolled hazard, so that you can take corrective action. A General Risk Assessment is the method we use at Ellis Whittam to conduct your audit. It allows us to take a systematic look at your workplace: identifying risks, evaluating the likelihood and severity of harm occurring giving the measures you currently have in place, and then recommending ways to reduce risk further.
We have an in-house health and safety team, but they haven’t had formal risk assessment training.
Risk assessment is the foundation of an effective safety management system, yet many individuals with this responsibility have not been taught the basic principles of how to conduct a risk assessment and what the law expects. This can result in an inaccurate estimation of risk, which may lead to certain control measures being recommended that are not necessary or, worse, control measures not being identified or implemented. If you are keen to make sure this essential task is being done properly, our expert Health & Safety Team can devise a risk assessors training package to develop internal competence.
Do I need a coronavirus (COVID-19) risk assessment?
Yes. COVID-19 is a biological hazard, and just like any other workplace hazard, all employers must conduct a risk assessment to identify and control the risks so far as is “reasonably practicable”. The government “expects” employers with over 50 workers to publish the results of these risk assessments online (via their website). It is important that you take these steps as regulators such as the HSE are now conducting spot checks to assess organisations’ compliance with COVID-secure measures. As part of the inspection, the regulator will want reassurance that you have conducted a COVID-19 risk assessment and communicated this to staff and may ask you to produce evidence to this effect. At Ellis Whittam, we have the knowledge and templates to help you to compile the necessary assessment so that you’re regulator-ready.
Will you conduct specific risk assessments for us?
There is nobody better placed than you to conduct a risk assessment. You are familiar with your workplace and the particular activities that go on within it. While we won’t conduct specific assessments for you, we can help you to construct them so that they are suitable a sufficient, and we can even train your staff to become risk assessors so that you have the necessary skills in house. We will, however, we conduct a thorough examination of your premises, practices and procedures at the beginning of your relationship with Ellis Whittam to help you identify and remedy any areas where you’re exposed.
How can the Health & Safety Software help with risk assessment?
Included as part of our core Health & Safety service, our award-winning Health & Safety Software will revolutionise your approach to auditing. Not only can you create your own assessments and checks, but you can monitor and control the actions identified in your General and Fire Risk Assessment, assign ownership to those responsible for actioning each task, and pull your data into one risk status indicator.
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We do more than just risk assessments...
Accident and Incident Investigation
An accident in the workplace is every employer’s worst nightmare. We can help to guide your investigation, advise on corrective action and protect your interests in the event of regulatory enforcement.
Can you help us prepare an accident investigation report?
Yes. This can be tricky to get right, especially as once you reach conclusions and set out the actions you have taken, the document is disclosable to the other side in the event of a personal injury claim or prosecution. We’ll help you stick to the facts, keep opinion separate, and make sure the report is presented in a way that protects your best interests and, most importantly, identifies the things that need to be put right to prevent reoccurrence.
We have been written to by the regulator regarding a health and safety incident. Can you help?
Yes. In the event of a serious accident or emergency, we will support your investigation and advise you on your communications with the enforcing authority. We will be there to help mitigate damage, guide you and support you. If you have received a letter from the regulator, we can help you to formulate a response until legal advice is required, in which case (if you have chosen to take it) our Legal Expenses Insurance is activated.
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Experts in Health & Safety
Why choose us?
ind workable solutions to health and safety challenges, and protect your organisation from the rising cost of non-compliance.
- Approved by a Primary Authority
- Dedicated specialists with recognised qualifications
- Genuine hands-on experience of managing risk
- Cost certainty with our unlimited, fixed-fee model
- The confidence to act as one of your competent persons
Who you'll be working with
“I’ve taken Ellis Whittam into every organisation that I’ve worked with. I’ve introduced them to many teams and many colleagues and referred them with absolute pleasure because I genuinely trust in the service that we get.”
Debbie Jamieson, People Director
“We get a great deal of comfort and satisfaction knowing that we have support as and when we need it, in a decisive and responsive way.”
Richard Berry, Group HR Director
Bluestone National Park Resort
“What we recognised in Ellis Whittam is the background that they have. They are able to supply knowledge and experience in a number of disciplines, which enables us to develop our business in a way that’s safe, to do it on time and with a quality to it.”
Debbie Rainbow, Director of Human Resources and Health & Safety
“As the company started to get larger, we knew we had to protect our employees and our contractors both onsite and in the offices. Ellis Whittam is exactly what we needed to move the company forward.”
Joanne Beaver, Operations Director
“We have found Ellis Whittam to be responsive and aligned with our business in terms of our processes and expectations. Their pragmatic approach has proven to be a great fit – nobody wants to be fighting their adviser on basic employment decisions.”
Jonathan Green, COO
“Ellis Whittam supports our 280 staff members with Employment Law and Health & Safety and has provided quality management training too.”
Lisa Best, Head of Service Delivery
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