Risk assessment is a systematic way of identifying health and safety hazards, assessing any risks posed by them and establishing measures to control those risks. The employer is responsible for health and safety, irrespective of who carries out the risk assessment.
Employees may be asked to assist the employer in carrying out risk assessments, but only to the extent that they are competent to do so. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 define ‘competence’ as having ‘sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities’ required for the task. In delegating tasks, the employer must provide the necessary training. Teachers should not accept responsibility for undertaking a risk assessment unless they are specifically contracted to do so and competent within the meaning of the regulations. Teachers should only assist with the risk management process where their professional skills and judgement are necessary.
For further information and resources please visit the Health & Safety Executive website