Firms might wish to consider a recent case, which illustrates that they can face prosecution and punishment for simply failing to complete a risk assessment.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has told how it took Sibelco, based in Leziate, to court in relation to the offence. It appeared at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court last week and the HSE suggested it had carried out an assessment of the firm during a site visit in November 2010, finding it did not have a suitable risk assessment in place.
Although the aggregate site had completed a risk assessment, it was deemed to be inadequate and unclear, as it failed to address all of the potential hazards that could occur as a result of work at the premises.
One area in which companies may have to show they have acted is safety equipment, with all staff who undertake dangerous activities requiring access to satisfactory kit and tools.
Sibelco pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The court later imposed a £10,000 fine on the business, while also ordering it to pay £10,203 in costs.
HSE inspector Steven Gill said: "This prosecution underlines the importance of companies suitably assessing and controlling risks associated with workplace transport - whatever form this takes. Although in this case a risk assessment had been carried out, it was not deemed to be suitable and sufficient."
The case may serve as a useful reminder for all other firms working in a similar sector to Sibelco that risk assessment is not a matter to be taken lightly. In fact, carrying it out in a suitable manner could prove to be the difference between life and death for employees, while it should also keep a business out of trouble with the HSE.
As a result, all companies across the UK might be wise to prioritise an adequate risk assessment, both for their own good and that of their employees.