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Example of Risk Assessment for an Office


Example Paper Distribution is a small company that employs 20 people and provides different paper products to a variety of consumer types. Risk Assessment has been completed for their paper factory, but not for the general office where orders are placed.

The office is a standard office space with office furniture and other office equipment. Five employees work there doing administrative and accounting work. There is a small staff kitchen furnished with a fridge and microwave where drinks and lunches are prepared. There is also a bathroom with a toilet and a sink.

The office building was built during the 1970's so all areas have been surveyed for the presence of asbestos. Some asbestos containing materials were found and have been removed and replaced with new approved materials.

The Risk Assessment was done by the General Manager (GM) of the office building.

How were the risks assessed for this office space?

The GM followed the guidelines established by company risk assessment standards.

  1. To identify and resolve risks, the GM:
    • Looked at the Company's health and safety documents, including the health and safety website to learn where dangers could appear
    • Walked around the office space, kitchens, and bathrooms taking notes on what could be a potential risk
    • Discussed with staff and company safety representative to learn from their experiences about their concerns with safety within the workplace
    • Consulted the accident log book, to determine where trouble areas are and what could have caused previous accidents

  2. The GM then wrote up a list of who could be harmed within the workspace, by which risks and how that person could be hurt.
  3. The GM took note of what methods were being used already to manage these risks. The GM compared these methods with the guidelines suggested by the company health and safety standards. When there were existing methods that were not up to standard, he made note to include the additional steps that were necessary to control that risk.
  4. The GM will put all risk management decisions into effect and record which person is responsible for the further steps that are necessary to maintain a safe working environment. When each action was complete the GM would record the date of completion. The Risk assessment chart was placed in the staff break room where all employees could see and take note of their combined progress.
  5. The GM discussed with the employees the results of the risk assessment and the progress that has been made and decided to conduct a risk assessment on a yearly basis unless any major changes occurred in the workplace.