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Examples of Health And Safety Risk Assessments in Excel

Here are several examples of health and safety risk assessments that we have completed, along with the methodology used. This method is the one we use for all our risk assessments by industry sector, which you can find in our download section.

Creating a health and safety risk assessment from scratch can be very daunting, especially when you are a business owner unfamiliar with the field of risk evaluation and prevention. In this article, you will find an example of creating a health and safety risk assessment based on the methodology we use to create our own health and safety risk assessments. Through this example, we will go over the steps to follow and the important considerations to arrive at an accurate result.

Before you begin, know that there are no specific templates or formats to follow. You can create your health and safety risk assessment on paper or on a computer. However, it should be easily editable, as you will need to update it whenever there are changes to working conditions in your company: machinery, tools, manufacturing processes, workstations, etc. Similarly, if new information regarding a risk or hazard comes to your attention, it would be prudent to update your health and safety risk assessment to include it.

For ease of editing, storage, and quicker updates, we recommend using a digital format rather than paper to create your health and safety risk assessment. We personally prefer Excel because of its ability to integrate calculation formulas. This not only saves a lot of time when evaluating risks but also makes future updates to the document easier. Finally, if you wish to have a paper version of your health and safety risk assessment, Excel allows you to print one with just a few clicks!

Where does the obligation to conduct health and safety risk assessments come from?

The obligation to conduct health and safety risk assessments is common to many countries. In the United Kingdom, this obligation arises from The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These regulations were established to enforce "employers' obligations in respect of the health and safety of workers and in relation to measures relating to the minimum health and safety requirements for the workplace". To achieve this, these regulations requires employers to systematically identify potential hazards in the workplace, evaluate the risks associated with these hazards, and prevent them by implementing appropriate preventive and protective measures.

To be relevant, occupational risk assessment must:

IDENTIFY hazards, EVALUATE the risks associated, and PREVENT through appropriate prevention measures

Before undertaking these three actions, it's advisable to start by defining "work units" within your organization. In your company, you likely have employees in various roles, each exposed to different risks. For example, secretaries and mechanics in an auto repair shop face different types of risks. Work units are groups of employees who share common risks. Defining work units allows you to evaluate risks separately for each task, role, or workstation in your company.

Example: Let's say you own a logistics and transportation company. Your business employs forklift operators to store goods in a warehouse and truck drivers to deliver these goods to clients. To conduct your health and safety risk assessment, you'll need to inventory the hazards, evaluate the corresponding risks, and then plan preventative actions aimed at reducing the impact on the health and safety of your workers. Forklift operators and truck drivers face different types of hazards and risks, because they don't operate the same machinery and don't perform the same tasks. Therefore, it makes sense to separate their risks into different work units: a "forklift operators" work unit and a "truck drivers" work unit.

Ideally, your work units should also help to avoid repetitions, particularly concerning risks, hazards, and prevention measures. For instance, if you have multiple people working in an office setting, it may not be necessary to create different work units for each one, even if their jobs differ (e.g., secretary vs. human resources), as their hazards, risks, and preventive measures are likely to be identical. We leave it to you to define your work units based on the characteristics of your company. If you're lacking inspiration, sticking to a simple division by profession or role is a good starting point.

First Step: How to Inventory the Health and Safety Risks for Employees in My Company?

To start your health and safety risk assessment, you need to inventory each of the hazards and risks faced by the workers in your company. The question you'll therefore need to ask yourself is: "For each of my employees, what are the hazardous situations (dangers) and what damage (risks) could these situations inflict on their health?"

Example: Let's revisit our earlier example of a logistics and transportation company. For the truck driver, one of the most obvious hazards is road accident, with associated risks of contusions, hemorrhages, or amputations. For the forklift operator, one of the main hazards is related to manual handling tasks, with risks of muscle pain, joint pain, and various long-term Musculoskeletal Disorders.

We have just looked at two hazards through this short example, along with the risks they can generate. But this is just a start, as there are many more hazards and risks to list for each of these professions!

But then, how can you be sure to identify all possible hazards and risks?

To assist you, know that there are recurring risks that are present in many different professions and businesses. These recurring risks constitute a checklist that allows you not to overlook the essentials during your identification stage. Here it is:

  • Risks related to slips, trips, and falls / Risks related to falls from height.

  • Risks related to manual tools / Risks related to machines (electric, pneumatic).

  • Risks related to chemical products (skin contact and/or inhalation).

  • Risks related to repetitive motions.

  • Risks related to awkward postures.

  • Risks related to noise exposure.

  • Risks related to working in cold environments.

  • Risks related to working in hot environments.

  • Risks of electric shock / electrocution.

  • Road risks (related to traffic accidents).

  • Psychosocial risks (depression, burn-out, bore-out).

Use this list and ask yourself for each of your company's employees: "Are they affected?" You will have thus covered the majority of recurring health and safety risks to which most employees are exposed in their daily lives.

To ensure your risk list is complete, you can present it to your employees and ask if, in their opinion, all the risks and hazards concerning them have been adequately identified. In doing so, you include them in your health and safety risk assessment approach, which is a plus for raising their awareness of health and safety at work. Another advantage is that you're unlikely to find anyone better positioned than them to tell you about the risks they face daily. Also, note that recognized organizations such as HSE (Health and Safety Executive) list the major health and safety risks in certain sectors. Also, Occupational Health services, particularly the Occupational Health physician, can assist you in identifying some of your workplace hazards.

Lastly, it's worth noting that some sectors expose workers to specific health and safety risks that haven't been listed. For example, veterinarians are exposed to specific risks caused by radiation from the use of medical devices to perform X-rays.

Second Step: How to Evaluate Each of the Health and Safety Risks I've Identified?

There's no legal requirement for the method of health and safety risk assessment to use. However, we recommend using a tried-and-true method that considers multiple criteria. At, we employ our own risk evaluation method that focuses on four key criteria:


  • Likelihood: What is the probability of harm occurring?

  • Exposure: How frequently am I exposed to this hazardous situation?

  • Severity: What types of harm could these risks incur?

  • Control: What is the current level of risk control within my company?


For these four criteria, we've defined several options:


  • Likelihood: Highly likely, Likely, Possible, Almost impossible

  • Exposure: Once a day, Once a week, Once a month, Once a year

  • Severity: No medical leave, Medical leave, Irreversible effect, Death

  • Death Control: No control, Partially controlled, Controlled, Well controlled


The person carrying out the health and safety risk assessment will thus define the likelihood, exposure, severity, and control for each of the risks identified, assigning predefined point values to each. By multiplying the points for likelihood, exposure, severity, and control, you obtain a "Risk Rating". This index helps rank the risks from most to least critical. Additionally, based on each risk rating, a corresponding "Risk Level" is assigned to determine the urgency for implementing preventive measures:


  • Level 1: Risks acceptable as they are

  • Level 2: Correction advised for the future

  • Level 3: Correction needed soon

  • Level 4: Immediate correction required


If calculating these risk ratings was once a long, tedious, and error-prone process, the use of computers now allows for rapid calculations while eliminating errors. This has been especially facilitated by the use of Excel, by programming health and safety risk assessment methods directly into spreadsheets. With just a few mouse clicks using dropdown menus, you can perform an on-the-fly assessment of health and safety risks. This is how our blank health and safety risk assessment template operates.

But why use a health and safety risk assessment method?

Using a health and safety risk assessment method allows you to carry out an objective evaluation of the risks. Indeed, by assessing your health and safety risks using a consistent method, you will obtain a neutral result that will not be influenced by your personal feelings. This is important because one may sometimes overestimate certain health and safety risks that seem more significant than they actually are and underestimate others that have a strong impact on people's health. This situation often occurs when assessing risks that vividly capture our imagination (e.g., injury with a kitchen knife) compared to risks that may lead to insidious health diseases that manifest only in the long term but have a considerable impact on overall health (e.g., noise exposure, which, in addition to causing hearing loss, creates significant discomfort such as tinnitus, balance issues, and migraines, all of which can be debilitating).

Example : in the case of our truck driver, the risks of falling from the height of the truck's tailgate may seem more significant at first glance than the risks associated with maintaining a prolonged sitting posture during driving hours. However, the reality is not so straightforward. While a fall from height is likely to cause contusions or even fractures with possible time off work, the chances of long-term repercussions are low. On the other hand, maintaining a prolonged sitting posture for long hours throughout one's professional life can lead to numerous health problems such as cardiovascular issues with the possibility of strokes, general bodily decline leading to obesity, and the long-term development of debilitating arthritis, among other things.

This kind of in-depth analysis is facilitated when using a multifactorial health and safety risk assessment method like the one we employ.

Third Step: How to Find Preventive Actions to Reduce These Health and Safety Risks?

Now that you have identified and assessed your health and safety risks, the next step is to plan preventive measures to reduce each of them. To best approach this, we are following the general principles of prevention, from The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These principles provide a hierarchy of nine types of actions to take for reducing health and safety risks:

  • (a) avoiding risks;

  • (b) evaluating the risks which cannot be avoided;

  • (c) combating the risks at source;

  • (d )adapting the work to the individual, especially as regards the design of workplaces, the choice of work equipment and the choice of working and production methods, with a view, in particular, to alleviating monotonous work and work at a predetermined work-rate and to reducing their effect on health;

  • (e) adapting to technical progress;

  • (f) replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous or the less dangerous;

  • (g) developing a coherent overall prevention policy which covers technology, organisation of work, working conditions, social relationships and the influence of factors relating to the working environment;

  • (h) giving collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures; and

  • (i) giving appropriate instructions to employees.

Still a bit unclear? Here's what to take away from these guidelines to determine the sequence of your preventive actions for health and safety risks:

  1. Look for a way to permanently eliminate the risk.

  2. If that's not possible, try to reduce the risk by implementing engineering controls (e.g., lifelines for work at height).

  3. In addition to possible engineering controls, look to implement personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g., ear protection for noise).

  4. Beyond these collective and individual protective measures, aim to reduce health and safety risks through information dissemination (training, signage, safety meetings).

This allows you to align your prevention strategies with regulations and conduct your risk prevention campaign in the most effective possible way.

Bonus Step: How to Plan These Preventive Actions for Health and Safety Risks?

You have now completed the three main steps of your health and safety risk assessment. Congratulations!


However, you can choose to add an additional step, a bonus step. This step involves defining a schedule for implementing your various health and safety risk prevention measures. This schedule allows you to determine which risk prevention measures you want to implement in your company for the upcoming year, or which measures you want to strengthen.

We find this step useful because it is often the first step in transitioning from the "virtual" to the practical application of risk prevention in the real world: on the ground!

This planning task will certainly require additional time, but it will allow you to track progress in risk prevention and identify areas for improvement with each update of your health and safety risk assessment. This contributes to establishing a genuine process of continuous safety improvement in your company.

To delve deeper into the topic, we also recommend reading this article on health and safety risk assessment:

Health and Safety Risk Assessment: Why and How?

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