Construction Risk Assessments

Construction risk assessment – what you need to know

In the UK, all companies have a responsibility to ensure workplace safety. For the construction industry, a risk assessment should be high on your list of priorities.

A health and safety risk assessment for construction firms should help make sure contractors and members of the public are protected from harm on a construction site. They enable employers to effectively identify hazards, assess the level and likelihood of the risks they pose, and put control measures in place to reduce, or wherever possible, completely eliminate risks. Risk assessments also help form the basis for health and safety policies and procedures.

So, it’s vital that risk assessments are carried out thoroughly, recorded clearly and are accurate. But which is the right type of risk assessment? How do you put one together? And how can tools such as Constructionline’s Risk Radar make your life easier?

Types of risk assessments

There are several types of construction risk assessments and which one you use will depend on your specific project and situation: 


This is the most common form of risk assessment. Risk levels are typically categorised as either high, medium or low. These are based on the personal judgement and expertise of the assessor, considering the consequence (severity) and probability (likelihood) of a hazard.


A generic risk assessment covers common hazards for a task or activity. It will consider the hazards for an activity in a single assessment, which can then be used if that activity is carried out across different sites.


This is a process of assessing risk in an on-the-spot situation and is often used where risks are unknown and uncertain, for people who need to deal with developing and changing situations.

Site specific

This takes into account a site’s specific location, environment and the people doing the work. It could include, for example, a review of hazardous substances, manual handling, noise, materials, or a fire safety risk assessment.

Five steps to a risk assessment 

A risk assessment should involve five steps and focus on identifying, eliminating and managing risks. Risk assessments should be comprehensive and clear and should not be overly bureaucratic.

Identify the hazards: Think about what might cause harm to employees, contractors, visitors or members of the public. This could include how people will work, the equipment they will use, the chemicals or substances involved, the safety level of work practices and the state of the site and facilities. Try to identify the less obvious dangers, such as maintenance, and hazards to health.

Decide who might be harmed and how: It’s now time to consider why the hazards you’ve identified could be harmful. This includes what type of injuries or health problems they can cause. The assessment should also identify who is at risk of each hazard.

Evaluate the risks and decide how to prevent them: Think about the likelihood and severity of each hazard happening and put in place precautions and take action to control them. Action you take should be proportionate – the bigger the threat, the more extensive the control measure should be. A risk assessment might seek to restrict access to specific areas, issue protective equipment or offer training.

Record significant findings: For companies with more than five employees, recording the findings of a risk assessment and mitigation measures taken is a legal requirement. Documenting findings can both help you improve future sites and educate contractors and employees, while protecting your business from legal liability.

Record – and, if necessary, update – the assessment: Make sure your risk assessment stays relevant and is updated every time there is a significant change to your workplace, workforce, equipment and any regulations that affect your site. 

Risk assessment examples and templates

In order to make sure you cover all of the above, it might be useful to look for a risk assessment template and examples of model assessments. After all, as we mentioned, a strong, comprehensive, clear risk assessment can make all the difference.

Monitor and manage supplier risks with Risk Radar

For buyers, risk assessments are also vital for potential reputational issues. With Risk Radar, the construction risk assessment online tool from Constructionline, you get an overview of the risks of every supplier and subcontractor on one platform. It gives you accurate insight into suppliers’ financial health, ethical, environmental and safety events.

A powerful, easy to use tool, Risk Radar combines information from a broad range of data sources, allowing buyers to extract the information they need in a way that suits them

The software allows you to:

• Track risk

• Segment data

• Set-up permissions

• View visualised risk trend or financial health analyses

• Get contractor data

• Access public data sources

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